By Cassidy Pate, News Editor
The Belton Educational Enrichment Foundation’s (BEEF) seventh annual Red Carpet and Casino Night was held on Tuesday night at Tenroc Ranch in Salado. The event’s slogan “chip in for the kids” became a reality, as dice were rolled, cards were flipped, and chips were collected to benefit local student scholarships and teacher grants.
It proved to be a high-profile event, with six categories of tickets sold from $100 (included one event ticket and dinner) to up to $10,000 (included two reserved tables for eight with premium seating, dinner, preferred signage and website recognition). Chips (with no monetary value) were given to every person in attendance and were to be cashed in for a chance to win something from the live auction at the end of the night.
As BEEF and Belton ISD supporters trickled in, they could enjoy drinks, appetizers and scan and bid at the silent auction while socializing with one another. BEEF Board Member Quinton Locklin gave the welcome address, followed by a brief program before dinner was served and the casino tables were opened.
“It’s cool to be in a room like this and be able to see our [BISD’s] history and how many of us were Belton Tigers and how many of our parents and grandparents were, but then it’s so awesome to see how many we’ve got in BISD and the support we have for our future as well, ‘cus that is our future,” Locklin said.
President of the Belton ISD Board of Trustees Suzanne McDonald then offered words of encouragement and led the assembly in prayer.
“These are the greatest people to work alongside of,” Jordan said. “I want to, at this time, just thank BEEF for all that you do for our students; you all are change agents; you are changing lives; you are making a difference, so thank you all for all that you do for BISD.”
President of BEEF Allyn Testroet provided the crowd with an overview of BEEF and the significance of the event. Since its establishment in 1992, the foundation has raised $2.6 million for student scholarships and teacher grants.
“It’s a great night, and this is where you can really help,” Testroet said. “We do this for one reason…we do it for the kids.”
It would not be a Belton ISD event without participation from the students, which was confirmed by the Belton High School cheerleaders greeting guests at the door and around the event. Additionally, junior at Belton New Tech High School @ Wascow Jacob Masters, representing the Belton High School Drumline, performed the snare drum solo that took him to State.
Interim Superintendent for Belton ISD Dr. Robin Battershell gave a touching speech, first recognizing her fellow Board of Trustee members and Belton ISD staff and students, and, secondly, expressing the similarity between her relationship with her husband, Brian, whom she has been married to for 36 – going on 37 – years and this fundraiser.
“We came from two very, very different worlds, but we came together for a common purpose, and that was to have a good home, and with that good home to raise good kids and to provide them with opportunities,” Dr. Battershell said. “That is no different than what you do in this room; we come from different areas, we come from different styles, we come from different backgrounds, but we all come together for a real common mission, and that’s to do what’s right for children and to provide them opportunities.”
Co-Chairs for event Kerri Pearson and Brooke Morrow closed the program.
“Once we close, it’s dinner and casino and silent auction and visit and drink, and, it’s for the kids, so let’s chip in, and let’s earn some money for BEEF,” Morrow said.