For its third year running, Garden City’s Buffalo Living Legacy Foundation will raise local dollars for Garden City High School student scholarships through its annual end-of-year Buffalo Ball, a New Year’s Eve party at The Golf Club at Southwind.
Co-founded by Renee Wallace and Melissa Savolt, the foundation has raised $34,750 and awarded $28,500 in university, community college and technical school scholarships over the past two years, divvied out in $1,250 to $5,000 scholarships, Wallace said.
This year, the foundation hopes to raise $20,000 in proceeds at the ball, she said.
The New Year’s Eve event will run from 6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and serve a prime rib buffet with wine and a midnight champagne toast, Wallace said, along with dancing and a cash bar. Tickets are $60, and additional donations are welcome. Those who donate $1,000 or more can name a scholarship, Wallace said.
For the second year running, the event will make an effort to bring together its adult attendees and the students they may help. Besides a GCHS show choir performance, several students play ambient piano music as guests enter. Some students seat patrons while players on the boys basketball team run valet, Wallace said.
This year, 2018 GCHS graduate and former Buffalo Living Legacy scholarship recipient Grace Schmidt will return as a speaker a the ball, Wallace said.
“That will be kind of fun to have a perspective from a student,” Wallace said.
Moving forward, Wallace said the foundation hopes to establish an endowment fund with the Western Kansas Community Foundation, which will make the organization eligible for the WKCF’s budding and widely successful mass fundraiser, Match Day. Their current fundraising efforts would also contribute to the set amount of money to start a permanent fund there, she said.
The impact over the years was apparent, Wallace said. Kids had received money to go anywhere from two-year schools to dental hygiene programs.
“I just think it lifts some of the burden. And also, we want to invest in some of these kids from our community that will potentially come back…” Wallace said.