The Watauga Education Foundation is flipping out for better schools.
The annual Flapjack Flip, now in its twelfth year, will be held at Watauga High School on Saturday, Dec. 12. The fund-raising breakfast buffet will feature pancakes, blueberry syrup, orange juice, bacon and coffee, offering a chance to warm up and fortify the system before the annual Boone Christmas Parade the same day.
Melanie Bullard, executive director of the Watauga Education Foundation, said the community collaboration on the fundraiser showed the joint effort behind educational success in the county.
"Our board members have worked so hard," Bullard said. "Between the raffles and our sponsors, we have more than 200 people who have worked together to make this a success. We encourage people to frequent those businesses because they help make this community what it is."
The Flapjack Flip will be held from 7:30 to 11 a.m. at Watauga High School, and Bullard noted it's the last pancake breakfast before the new high school opens.
In addition to the food, which is available for $6, there are raffles and craft sales, with all proceeds going directly into local classrooms.
"This is the third year for a limited raffle," Bullard said. "We're the only ones in the High Country who do this. We have 15 phenomenal packages. We only sell 20 chances for each package so there's a one in 20 shot of winning if they sell out."
Packages for dinners, rounds of golf, gift items and more are available. Raffle-ticket prices range from $25 to $100, depending on the prizes. The packages are listed on the foundation's Web site at http://www.wefnc.org.
"It's always been fun, but it's just getting better every year," Bullard said.
This year, local schools have a chance to directly boost their funding. Local schools will have craft tables, selling items to help support their school. School principals will be serving as wait staff, with their tip money also directly benefiting their school.
Bullard said the Flapjack Flip was one of the few opportunities for people from different schools to come together for a public event, and it also supported local Parent Teacher Student Associations. She said that was one of the foundation's more satisfying missions.
"It's a great opportunity for parents, teachers and students to get together and celebrate all that we have to be thankful for," she said. "That's one of the things the Watauga Education Foundation is most proud of. We give more than $25,000 a year, and since our inception we've given more than a million dollars to local schools. "But we're most proud of community events because we're the only ones who do it, strictly for the schools, and lots of great things are associated with that."
"It's a fun time, and there's a lot going on at the high school that weekend so we encourage folks to come early," Bullard said.
The foundation's primary mission is to provide classroom grants and it sponsors the annual Shooting Stars competition. The foundation is also supporting another initiative called Imagination Library, which gets books into the hands of kids before they ever get to school, setting in motion a lifelong love of reading and better preparing children for kindergarten.
"Basically we raise money for initiatives not funded by state or federal budgets," Bullard said. "How do you know you make a difference? We can't quantify it, but I know if we weren't there, what a big hole we would leave."
For more information or to bid on the raffle packages, visit http://www.wefnc.org. Bullard can be reached at (828) 268-1273.