The Moody Foundation is the first on the list of thank yous by the Friendswood Independent School District’s Education Foundation. The Moody Foundation gave $100,000, which helped complete a goal in the Foundation’s 14th year of assisting the district.

With the Moody Foundation’s help, the Foundation reached $1 million in endowment to insure a bright future for the district and $1 million in giving to teachers and campuses in the district since the origin of the Foundation. It was truly a Thanks a Million! Thanks a Million! night Feb. 15 at their major fundraiser, Moonlight Masquerade gala held at The Houstonian Hotel.

Moody Foundation’s largest gift to the district was the first record broken. More followed.

The gala committee hoped to see $160,000 from ticket sales, tables sales, and both silence and live auctions. In the end, the amount rose to $185,000. Then net revenue while still being worked and tweaked as final bills come in, show more than $350,000. Success? The Foundation thinks yes.

The major news of the evening was a check for $100,000 to the Foundation from the Moody Foundation. Both Ingrid and Bobby Moody were at the foundation’s table and were on hand to draw a winning raffle name and accept a plaque to thank the Moody Foundation. The two live in Friendswood and have children in the district.

Chairing the gala were Lesley DiBello and CiCi Newkirk with committee members Selena Ellis, Janet Wegner, Alan and Beth Stanfield, Paige Ridout, Kelly Lovell, Molly Crow, Leslie Yarbrough, Lynn Shigekawa, Susan Kelly, Sheri Barber and Karolyn Gephart. Music was provided by Jet Set.

Live auction items included vacation home stays on Hilton Head Island, New Braunfels on the Guadalupe, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Several hunting and fishing trips were offered, as well as children’s water parties, cheerleading party and being a cheerleader on the track with the “real” cheerleaders on Homecoming (including the Homecoming Parade).

To set the mood, a juggler on stilts, two face painters, jesters, and mimes were on hand in the crowd in a masked ball setting.

A large silent auction full of new items was available for bidding. Athletic tickets, party food, jewelry, and much more were offered.

Grants for “adopting” had its own gallery. This is the fifth year for the program and the committee has set its goal for $95,000. So far, more than 180 grants have been adopted by the community, individuals and businesses.

Funds earned from the fundraiser will be used to give grants by the Foundation to FISD this year, to serve for operational costs and to add to the endowment.

The Foundation is thankful for its many sponsors this year. Check out who are major sponsors this year for the FISD Education Foundation at

Karolyn Gephart is director of communications for Friends-wood ISD.

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