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Northern Stars gala raises $65,000 for Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation

The Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation’s (AHEF) 24th annual Northern Stars Celebration on Saturday, February 9 was a huge success, and raised a record $65,000 for the non-profit.

“Once again, our donors went all in and we can’t thank them enough,” said Lynn Montgomery, event chair and board member for the AHEF. “We have such depth of support from our community, from our business sponsors and from within the district.  As a grandparent of two students in the district and as a volunteer, it’s very affirming.”

Nearly 250 guests filled the Bunker Hills Event Center to celebrate quality education in the district, bid on the silent and live auctions and hear outstanding music. The talented Coon Rapids High School Cardinal Strings, directed by Michael Watson, performed during dinner. While the entertainment for the evening was provided by the amazing Ms. Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele, who in addition to having the place up dancing and singing, spoke personally of the value of education and investing in our kids’ futures. Ms. Kate Beahen, Anoka High School graduate, local actress, and paraprofessional at Coon Rapids High School was the evening’s auctioneer.

The giving moment started with an anonymous dollar for dollar match up to $5,000. On top of this, the Ramsey Lions donated another $5,000 to create more opportunities for kids in Anoka-Hennepin Schools. We are so fortunate that our community sees the value in education. “Our donors realize that the stronger our students are, the stronger our community is, the stronger our shared future is,” said Tess DeGeest, executive director of AHEF.


Funds donated will expand talent and opportunity development, enrich early childhood education and increase career and college readiness for students across Anoka-Hennepin. “Our donors are the real heroes here, they are the ones creating more and richer opportunities for our students,” DeGeest emphasized.


Next year’s celebration is set for February 8, 2020 and will mark the 25th Anniversary of the Northern Stars Celebration. “Events like this are a great excuse to dress up, go out on the town, and have fun while raising money for a great cause, our kids,” said DeGeest. “We are already looking forward to next year’s Celebration.”

See photos from the 2019 Northern Stars Celebration here.

© 2019 Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation

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