Dancing for education: Charter High School to hold fundraiser

Marco Island Academy a public charter high school board member at work planning the upcoming fundraiser to benefit the building fund for a new facility to open in August. Jean Amodea / Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island Academy a public charter high school board member at work planning the upcoming fundraiser to benefit the building fund for a new facility to open in August. Jean Amodea / Eagle Correspondent

Guest celebrity Chad Oliver, ABC-7 news anchor will appear at the Marco Island Academy a Public Charter High School fundraiser on Feb. 24 at the Marco Marriott Beach Resort. Oliver is dancing with Naples Perfoming Arts owner, Lori Vallieres. Submitted

Guest celebrity Chad Oliver, ABC-7 news anchor will appear at the Marco Island Academy a Public Charter High School fundraiser on Feb. 24 at the Marco Marriott Beach Resort. Oliver is dancing with Naples Perfoming Arts owner, Lori Vallieres. Submitted

Guest celebrity Chad Oliver, ABC-7 news anchor will appear at the Marco Island Academy a Public Charter High School fundraiser on Feb. 24 at the Marco Marriott Beach Resort. Chad Oliver is dancing with Naples Perfoming Arts owner, Lori Vallieres. Submitted

Guest celebrity Chad Oliver, ABC-7 news anchor will appear at the Marco Island Academy a Public Charter High School fundraiser on Feb. 24 at the Marco Marriott Beach Resort. Chad Oliver is dancing with Naples Perfoming Arts owner, Lori Vallieres. Submitted

Touring the Marco Island Academy, a public charter high school, one can easily see that the facility has outgrown its tenants.

Students, albeit seriously imbibing math and science lessons and exploding with creativity in art class, need more space to stretch growing limbs as well as their minds.

“We are having open enrollment all month and interest is high by parents who really want to keep their kids on the island,” said academy board member Dawn Vergo.

“Charter school enrollment is typically expected to double and our current location can no longer accommodate additional students.”

Vergo, a parent of two Tommie Barfield Elementary students, volunteers her time at both schools and is passionate about furthering the cause of student education.

To aid in raising necessary funds for expansion, the Marco Island Discovery Center, a Florida non-profit organization is busy with a season of fundraisers.

The next event will be held from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., Feb. 24 at the Marriott Beach Resort when, dressed in cocktail attire, attendees will enjoy a full evening of festivities that will include dinner and entertainment and valet service.

Marriott Chef Juan Martinez promises a gourmet steak dinner with all the trimmings.

Naples Performing Arts owner, Lori Vallieres and NPA Director of Dance Jeffrey Hajko will coordinate a series of dance exhibition numbers at around 8 p.m.

The show will open with a medley of Broadway show tunes performed by student dancers Allie Vallieres, age 9 and Clint Wood, age 11 dancing the foxtrot.

Two sets of four numbers with a 10 minute break will include exhibition dances by local dancer Jean Hertzog who will perform a Viennese waltz, a samba and a bolero with Hajko.

Vallieres will dance with two celebrity guests. Chad Oliver, ABC 7 News anchor, the recent winner of the Naples’ Dancing with the Stars will perform a swing number, and Chef Piro Rodriquez, an interpretive theatre arts dancer will demonstrate lifts and other dance moves.

Guests are invited to bid on silent auction items at 6:30 p.m. that were donated by local businesses.

Steve Macko of Morgan Stanley, Smith and Barney will sponsor a table on behalf of his family and his wife, Jennifer will also donate a basket of jewelry pieces from her business, JK Jewel Kade.

Other items include dinner for eight at the Bonefish Grill and a pair of seven-day condo stays at the Four Seasons and at Naples’ Waldorf Astoria.

The Rose Marina, a table sponsor will also donate a boat rental and the Naples Performing Arts is donating four private ballroom dancing lessons valued at $400 and a series of four private acting lessons valued at $300.

Sponsorships are available at $1,000 for a table of 10. Sponsors’ names will appear at the table as well as on the Web site.

Proceeds from the event will go toward educational materials, as well as the building fund for the new school that now holds 75 students.

Marco Island Academy Chairperson, Jane Watt said that the new school location will be at 2255 San Marco Road.

The school will be set up like a campus with approximately 10 modular buildings to be erected by August, with an additional six modular units to be added in 2013.

“We are at the final negotiations with the modular company right now. We are also looking for donations to help support the capital fund. As a charter school, we have to work very hard to raise money in the local community to support the school,” said Watt.

“The Marco Island Academy is not building a school; it is building a future for the students who live in our community.”

Watt said that the charter school receives five percent less funding than traditional district schools and does not receive funding for the facilities.

Persons interested in supporting the school by a tax-deductible contribution, can send a check payable to Marco Island Discovery Center, 1450 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island, FL 34145.

Past fundraisers and donations have netted the school over $200,000. Other upcoming events include the annual 5K run on March 10 and the Go for the Green Golf Outing on April 28 at the Marriot Golf Course.

If you go

Ballroom Dancing Extravaganza

Where: 400 South Collier Boulevard, Marco Island (Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort)

When: 6:30-10:30 p.m. February 24

Tickets: $75 per person. Make checks payable to Marco Island Academy and mail to Dawn Vergo, 279 Copperfield Court, Marco Island, FL 34145

Contact: (239) 404-3622 or director@marcoislandacademy.com

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 4

lauralbi1 writes:

Each to his or her own. But I look at these numbers and just think how this kind of money could do so much good for Children's Charities or saving lives instead of creating or supporting a school created for a group of elitist parents.
Best of luck.
Ed Issler

Brisla writes:

Do you feel the same way about parents who send their kids to the other charter school on the island? Do you support Manatee Middle School over MICMS?

lauralbi1 writes:

There is a lot of difference between Middle School and High School. In my opinion, the MIA students will be robbed of a true High School experience.

It will take some years, but it will make for a good study to deyrrmine the social impact of MIA graduated students when they finally leave the Island, leave their parents and go off to College.

At least Lely parents have the opportunity to ne involved and assist in the social acclamation of their High School childten. The "Stepford MIA students" will be so out of touch on a College campus and College environment, socially, that many could experience issues.

We can all hope for the best and wish them all a great experience. As I say, years from now, it will make for interesting results.

When the school was contemplated to ne on the Island, many people shared their experiences on this subject.

My comments are based more on my personal High School growth than any expert knowledge.

Ed Issler

lauralbi1 writes:

Klaus: Try to avoid saying something just for the sake of saying something. It gets old and meaningless.

This is not about me, and as much as it may be hard for you to believe, it is not about you. It is about the MIA and whether it will be a positive experience for the students that go there, or whether it was created to satisfy the egos and bigotries of a small group of parents.

I am only saying it remains to be seen and that the money could have been better put to use elsewhere.
Ed Issler

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