FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla (February 13, 2024) – It was a banner night for the Flagler County Education Foundation as they welcomed revelers on Fat Tuesday to the 20th annual Mardi Gras fundraiser, to raise $50,000, at Grand Haven Golf Club in Palm Coast.

Drawing guests from across the community, foundation director Teresa Rizzo was thrilled as she helmed the microphone to encourage the packed house to enjoy the evening.

“I can’t believe how many people are here. I’m almost speechless which is very unusual,” said Rizzo. “There’s people from all different corners of the community including our school system here. It’s just a great night. New faces, veteran faces. It’s just a great night for everybody to do something for the kids.”

Working in tandem with staff and the Flagler County Education Foundation board of directors, Rizzo said the evening’s fundraiser benefits a program near and dear to her heart.

“This is a Flagler County Education Foundation event that provides support for our Take Stock in Children program which is our scholarship mentoring program for those students who are in financial need,” she said.

“The purpose of Take Stock is to break the cycle of poverty through education.”

Greeting guests, foundation president Joseph Wright was all smiles. It’s been a busy year for him and his wife Kelly, supporting Rizzo on the mission, but a good year.

“This is so exciting. What a great time we had. Another fantastic evening pulled off by Teresa Rizzo and her group,” he said.

“We’re going to raise a lot of money. We’re going to have a good time.”

Close friends personally and professionally the Rizzo and Wright families are deeply invested in the success of the Flagler County Education Foundation, and the shared synergy has motivated others to increase their support for the organization.

“We have really pushed the limits this year. We have raised way more money than we ever thought we would this year, and it doesn’t end yet,” said Wright.

Among the evening’s guests were Sue and Peter Freytag, staunch supporters of the Take Stock in Children Program.

Sue was enthusiastic about the event’s seeming success as she helped celebrate her husband’s birthday Tuesday evening.

“This is such a wonderful evening and to know that we are helping Take Stock in Children program and all the other programs that the education foundation sponsors,” shared Freytag. “A great turnout, I think everybody is having a wonderful time. It’s the 20th year of this event, and it gets bigger and better every year.”