This year’s EVIT Foundation gourmet breakfast fundraiser was a huge success. About 400 tickets and silent auction items were purchased by Valley businesses, organizations and members of the community to support low-income EVIT students who need assistance in paying their program fees. The event raised over $80,000.
The theme of the breakfast was “EVIT Gives Back.” Statistics show that EVIT, a public school that receives state funding and considerable support from business and industry, gives back every day by helping many young people find their career passion and fueling Arizona industry with a pipeline of technically-trained workers. From the Classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014 alone, 2,188 EVIT students went on to college, 870 were hired by Arizona businesses and 110 joined the military – all within one year of completing their EVIT training. During that same timeframe, many more EVIT alumni completed college and entered the workforce.
Keynote speaker Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill spoke about the need in Arizona for more schools like EVIT, calling EVIT “a jewel of Arizona.” Several current students and alumni spoke about the success they’ve experienced as a result of their EVIT training, and Culinary Arts chefs and students prepared a wonderful meal for all to enjoy.
Pat Brazil of George Brazil Home Services was honored with the Olga Bender Award for her contributions to EVIT and career and technical education. Brazil, the former CTE director for California, recently started the George Brazil School of Plumbing at EVIT. EVIT recognized the Mesa Police Department and Mesa Fire Department for keeping our campuses safe, and the team at Food Ball, a game show for high school students that is filmed in the EVIT Culinary Arts kitchen and airs on a local Phoenix television station.
Also at the breakfast, performance artist Randall Hedden created a painting of the late Cardinals player and war hero Pat Tillman. Then Department of Public Safety director Frank Milstead auctioned off the painting, plus four Cardinals tickets donated by Bidwill, to the highest bidder for $4,000. The winning bidder: Mrs. Brazil!
“This year’s breakfast was a tremendous success,” said Superintendent Dr. Sally Downey. “Our school is so grateful for the support that business and industry and our community continue to show our students. EVIT could not provide quality career and technical education without that support.”