Night of Dragons on November 13 will support senior scholarships and teacher grants


As Pittsburg High School seniors begin deciding what to do after graduation, the USD 250 Foundation is focused on raising scholarship money to help support those seniors.


On Saturday, the community can help: the Foundation is hosting Night of Dragons, a new event that they hope appeals to a wide variety of Dragon supporters.


It will be held at Kansas Crossing Casino and will feature food, drinks, and silent auction.

The event replaces Feast & Follies, a sponsored event each spring that showcased the PHS Performing Arts program and served as a venue for scholarship presentations.


“This is a more casual event focused on scholarship growth, and is open to everyone,” said Robin Mussa, chair of the fundraising committee for the Foundation. “We really want it to be a celebration of Dragon pride while bringing together the community to help our students take the next steps in their lives beyond high school.”


Scholarship presentations are now made at a separate event in the spring, bringing more focus and time to honoring student accomplishments.


Since community members and the board of education founded the USD 250 Foundation in 2000, it has provided funds for several notable district projects, including the construction of the Megan Mallatt Center and the tennis courts at PHS, the renovation of Hutchinson Field, and the establishment of CTEC — the county’s center for technical education.


At the core of the Foundation’s mission, though, is helping PHS graduates pay for college. Last year, 56 students — many of them rising first-generation college students — were awarded $60,000 in college scholarships. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded nearly $500,000 in college scholarships.


“We know post-secondary education is important for our students and their futures, and our goal is to help as many of them achieve this as possible,” said Foundation President Micky Painter. “Our community benefits as well, because these students go on become more involved, volunteer their time more often, vote in local elections at higher rates, and have better health outcomes.”


The Foundation also prioritizes helping teachers in Pittsburg Community Schools. To date, the organization has awarded $200,000 in teacher grants to help them provide innovative learning experiences in and out of the classroom.


“It’s important that teachers have a wide variety of tools to reach and inspire every student, and our teacher grants help them with that,” Painter said.


New this year: a new scholarship will be funded live at Night of Dragons, and awarded in the spring.

Can’t attend the event?


“We know people are busy, and there are other worthy causes to support this weekend,” said Mussa. “That’s why this year, we’re using an online giving system that will enable any Dragon supporter to give to our 2021 Night of Dragons scholarship from anywhere in the world.”


Tickets to the event are still available at usd250foundation.org, or anyone can give to the scholarship fund at any time by texting 2021NOD to 41444.

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