LESA Raises $424,000 for Lutheran Schools, Honors Founding Board Member William "Bill" Bunte
(ST. LOUIS, MO) April 20, 2016 – The St. Louis-based Lutheran Elementary School Association (LESA) raised a total of $424,000 for Lutheran elementary schools during its 12th Annual “A Night for Kids," Dinner-Auction, held Saturday, April 2, 2016, at the Orlando Gardens South. Donations to the event were matched 2:1 by Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis.
KMOX's Mark Reardon co-hosted the evening, which included the presentation of LESA's 2016 Heritage Award to William "Bill" Bunte for creating a legacy for children enrolled in Lutheran schools in the St. Louis area.
"You always look at the successes," said Mr. Bunte, a retired owner and co-founder of Crawford, Bunte & Brammeier Traffic & Transportation Engineers in Creve Coeur. "LESA and our member schools have been very successful in reaching out to families and children in our communities. It's satisfying to be a part of that."
Mr. Bunte and his wife Eileen are long-time members and supporters of Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Olivette, where they educated two sons.
LESA also presented its 2016 Lutheran Student Leadership Award to Aleesia Glass, an eighth-grader at Unity Lutheran Christian School in East St. Louis who organized a rally for a friend and former-classmate who is battling cancer. The award includes a $500 scholarship underwritten by the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF).
The theme of this year's event was Bridge the Gap, since proceeds from the night will help LESA earn the remaining funds on a $2 million challenge grant from Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis. The grant, which expires at the end of this year (Dec. 31, 2016), was awarded to help LESA build an operations and programming endowment to support Lutheran education over the long term.
"A Night for Kids" is LESA's largest and most important annual fundraiser. Since 2004, it has helped LESA award more than $3.7 million in need-based scholarships to children of all faiths in the St. Louis area.
More than 8,500 students attend Lutheran schools in the St. Louis Metro Area, making it the second largest private school system in the Bi-State Region. A Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, LESA represents 31 elementary and four high schools, including three National Blue Ribbon Schools and three National Lutheran Exemplary Schools. For more information, visit www.lesastl.org.