204 foundation celebrates 25 years

<p>Tamara Wilson, a graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School, will perform at the IPEF 25th anniversary gala on March 21. | Photo courtesy of Eric Melear.</p>

Tamara Wilson, a graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School, will perform at the IPEF 25th anniversary gala on March 21. | Photo courtesy of Eric Melear.

If you go Who: The community is invited to enjoy the nationally-acclaimed high school music programs of Metea, Neuqua and Waubonsie Valley high schools on the same stage for a special performance celebrating the best of Indian Prairie School District 204. What: The Indian Prairie Educational Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration When: 8 p.m. Friday, March 21 Where: Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., downtown Naperville Tickets: $25. VIP tickets, which include pre-concert dinner at Hugo’s Frog Bar or Sullivan’s from 5:30-7:30 and reserved performance seating, are $125 each. Order tickets through the Wentz Hall box office at 630-637-7469 or http://tickets.noctrl.edu The foundation: For partnership opportunities, contact Susan Rasmus at 630-375-3652 or susan_rasmus@ipsd.org.

It’s a celebration that has been a quarter-century in the making. On Friday, March 21, the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation will host a gala at Wentz Concert Hall in downtown Naperville to commemorate its 25th anniversary.

“Our foundation focus had always been, and rightfully so, on the support of the students and staff in District 204,” said Kent Duncan, Indian Prairie Educational Foundation chairman.

“This event is not only to tell our story of success as a foundation over the past 25 years, but also a chance for us to begin to message how we see opportunity to support future district initiative.”

The Indian Prairie Educational Foundation was created in 1988 to complement and enhance the educational opportunities provided to students in District 204.

Since then, the organization has provided more than $3 million in “educational extras.”

“We are extremely fortunate to have the foundation support our district,” said Dr. Kathy Birkett, District 204 superintendent.

“Over the past 25 years, they have provided outstanding opportunities in so many areas for our students and teachers.”

The evening celebration will feature a variety of performances, including selections from students in Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley high school music programs.

“We’ll be featuring our music students as they are a great example of a lot of what the founders wanted to accomplish when they first established Indian Prairie Educational Foundation,” said Susan Rasmus, executive director.

“Our celebration at Wentz Concert Hall is a great opportunity to showcase the incredible talent that you will find in District 204 music programs today.”

Along with current talent, 20 talented alumni will be recognized, including Tamara Wilson, a 1999 Waubonsie Valley High School graduate and professional opera singer.

Wilson, who has traveled the world, performing in 14 countries on five continents, will take the stage in her hometown for a special performance.

“I am very excited to be coming back to Naperville, and for a reason, I’m very passionate about education,” Wilson said.

“District 204 and my teachers from Clow, Gregory and Waubonsie gave me a wonderful education not only academically but musically. It is for that reason that I am now singing all over the world.”

Along with the music, Duncan said the foundation is looking forward to “sharing our story, meeting new friends and connecting with community leaders to see where they want to be involved in the education of our students.”

“This should be a great evening to enjoy the past and current talents on display for all to enjoy,” he said.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the foundation.

For more information, visit http://www.ipsd.org/News.aspx?id=60393