Scottsbluff and Gering Public Schools are coming together to highlight the skill set of their students during the first-ever WyoBraska Gives Stronger Together kickoff event on Thursday, March 19 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Jennifer Sibal, Gering Public Schools community engagement director, came up with the idea after learning about the Colorado State University-Fort Collins and University of Wyoming foundations rivalry.

“I was listening to a webinar and Colorado State University was talking about a challenge they do with Wyoming with their Border War and their foundations are a part of that,” Sibal said. “They do a Border War challenge with their two foundations and that got my juices turning. It was one of those things of how can we turn this into something that benefits the foundations?”

Sibal presented her idea to Becky Horne with WyoBraska Gives and began working with Alyssa Harvey, the Scottsbluff Public Schools Foundation director.

“We wanted to put a very positive spin on it and that’s how we came up with ‘Stronger Together’ and just made sure we highlighted the things that both schools are doing well and the things our students are doing well and doing together.”

During the event, both districts are offering packages for people to bid on from graduation parties to lawn care.

“I’m excited about, not only just being able to add additional resources for students, but also this is a way to showcase their talent through those auction experience packages,” Sibal said.

Harvey said the event will provide an opportunity for conversation between students and business partners at the event.

“I think our students have an opportunity to learn a lot,” Harvey said.

Both districts are offering graduation packages where a senior can host their graduation reception in the Scottsbluff High School commons and Gering High School commons.

Scottsbluff’s foundation is also offering an activity package, student created flag art, Choices students completing yard work and a gift certificate to the SHS green house where the person can select plants for the spring.

Gering’s Foundation is offering a shed package, musical dinner theater package, take and bake dinner, three technology assistance packages, metal works package and two Bulldog birthday bash packages.

Harvey said the event is about bringing the Scottsbluff and Gering communities together while also supporting the schools. The money raised from the packages go back into the schools to provide students with different educational opportunities.

“It’s a nice way for a business owner, who is an alumni of one or the other and they’re contributing to both, but then they can be there that night and really contribute to the one that they want to,” Harvey said. “It just brings us together to do that.”

The auction is done through mobile bidding through the software that WyoBraska Gives uses. There will be students available to help people with the bidding process.

Culinary students from SHS and GHS will be catering the event for free as the districts highlight those students’ skills.

As part of the evening, the public can participate in a BullCat 50/50 Bingo raffle. After purchasing bingo cards, the public is encouraged to visit the booths set up in the commons where they will receive stickers to fill in their cards. The goal is to get a blackout before the end of the evening. Then, there will be a drawing set up from the blackout cards to determine the winner of the raffle.

“The BullCat Bingo game is going to run where they have to make certain stops,” Harvey said. “It’s a fun way to encourage people to move around and see all that we have set up that night.”

Harvey added the event is family friendly.

“We will have games for kids in the gym, which is a great space that is open to the commons,” she said. “Our students will be leading some of those games in the gym, so bring your little ones to play.”

Students will also be providing guided tours of Gering High School throughout the evening, with announcements ahead of the tours.

“We’ll have some of our student leadership there leading tours in a designated zone,” Sibal said. “We’ll have them starting those tours throughout the time, so people don’t have to wait.”

While the event ends at 8 p.m., Harvey said any contribution the foundations receive between March 19 and May 5 will count toward their total for the WyoBraska Gives event. As part of the fundraiser, the districts are having a challenge where a foundation can earn $1,000 from the Oregon Trail Community Foundation.

“We have a challenge going on where whichever foundation raises the most money at the end of the May 5 date, there’s a $1,000 incentive for that foundation from Oregon Trail Community Foundation,” Harvey said.

The Stronger Together fundraiser event will kick off the 4th annual WyoBraska Gives event on May 5. For more information about the Stronger Together giveaways, visit the Scottsbluff and Gering Schools Foundation pages and for more information on WyoBraska Gives, visit Wyobraska.org.

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