Foundation event raises $44,000 for education

Mar 06, 2013
Photo by: Jessi Stone MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE — Beth Brown, the 2013 Mardi Gras Ball queen, dances to the 'I Dream of Genie' theme song during her processional.

Haywood County Schools Foundation now has more than $44,000 to spend on student scholarships and other education improvements following the fifth annual Mardi Gras Ball fundraiser.

The five candidates for Mardi Gras king and queen raised the money by holding fundraisers and asking people to donate money in their name. Greg Boothroyd, part owner and advertising manager of The Smoky Mountain News and Smoky Mountain Living magazine, and Beth Brown, owner of Beth Brown Photography and a vacation rental business in Maggie Valley, raised the most funding, making them the 2013 king and queen.

The other candidates included Ellene Francis, Greg Boothroyd, Michael Sorrells and Scotty Setser.

The Mardi Gras Ball has helped raise more than $120,000 for the foundation over the years. Each year a king and queen are crowned at the event. The 2012 king and queen were Jonathan Jorstad and Rhonda Schandevel.

Proceeds from the ball help the foundation raise money for student scholarships, needs in the classrooms of the 16 schools in the county and to retain highly qualified educators. Last year this event raised over $43,000. The foundation has been helping Haywood schools since 1984 and manages more than 65 scholarship funds. Last year more than $165,000 was awarded to 94 students.