Vanquish Worldwide President and CEO Eric W. Barton, along with the Leadership Blount Class of 2016, is hoping to raise much needed funds next month for Mary Blount Elementary School.
The class, which Barton is a member of, will be hosting a pancake breakfast from 8-10 a.m. Saturday, March 5th at Barley’s Taproom on West Broadway in Maryville in an effort to raise money for more technologically advanced, integral learning tools for the school – Google Chromebooks. In addition, Barton is pledging to match funds for the Leadership Blount’s fundraising goal for the devices.
Each Leadership Blount class looks to make a charitable community contribution through a class project. When the Class of 2016 learned that Mary Blount students were in need of new Google Chromebooks for the classroom, they were eager to help by organizing a fundraising event, Susan Williams, with The Trust Company and a 2016 LB Class member, said.
“Part of the (Leadership Blount) program is you go around and you look at the charitable services in the community and then you try to pick a project,” Williams, who is spearheading the Leadership Blount Class of 2016 pancake fundraiser event, said. “We visited that school and 75 percent (of students) are on free and reduced lunch, but technology is just part of all the schools’ programs these days.”
The breakfast will include a hearty helping of pancakes, eggs, bacon, juice and coffee. Local celebrity servers will be assisting in hopes of raising extra money through waiter tips for the breakfast.
Leadership Blount Class of 2016 is hoping to raise $7,000-$10,000 through the pancake breakfast, Williams said.
“I’m so honored and excited to be a part of this local fundraising effort. I believe we as leaders in our Blount County community have a duty to serve our community,” Barton said. “What better way to serve than to raise money for technology and educational tools in our children’s classrooms?”
Tickets are on sale for $10 and can be purchased from any Class of 2016 Leadership Blount member. Tips and donations will also be accepted for the Chromebooks.
“These Google Chromebooks have become an integral part of learning for today’s growing minds. This technology meets the needs of students in a way that is meaningful to them,” Barton said. “I am confident that these students will be more prepared than ever for their future dreams, hopes and careers with this added learning tool.”
In conjunction with the pancake breakfast, The Leadership Blount Class of 2016 will also host a St. Patrick’s Day Party fundraiser to raise money for Chromebooks. The St. Patrick’s Day Party will be held from 6-10 p.m. Thursday, March 17th at Smith Family Life Center. “The Dirty Dougs” will be performing during the event-filled evening and beer will be provided by Maryville’s The Casual Pint. St. Patrick’s Day Party tickets cost $25, which includes wine, beer, a dinner buffet provided by Calhoun’s, an auction and more!
“As a community, if we pull together we can help our neighbors, if you will,” Williams said of a life lesson she hopes her fellow LB Class members learn from organizing the charity event. “We are very fortunate that a lot of the corporations and businesses in the area are so charitable.”
The class is also looking for local corporate sponsorships to meet their $37,000 goal for the project. Eric W. Barton is pledging a $10,000 match for Mary Blount Elementary if initial funds are raised from the pancake breakfast and St. Patrick’s Day Party.
“As owner of a quality higher education institute, Peak Technical Institute, which is located here in Blount County, investing in education has always remained close to my heart. I truly believe that contributing to the benefit and growth of our community all begins in our local classrooms,” Barton said. “I look forward to witnessing the positive outcomes that are going to be generated from these fundraisers.”