Panthers for a Purpose event live auction with the panther mascot and attendees

The Panther Foundation’s annual Week of Giving and Panther Party raised $120,000 to support activities and programs benefiting the students of Spring Lake Park Schools.

The Week of Giving, February 18-25, was full of panther pride. There were themed spirit wear days, dine to donate opportunities in partnership with local restaurants, and a silent auction with more than 300 packages open for bidding. The silent auction alone raised nearly $35,000.

The culminating event of the week was the Panther Party on Saturday, February 25. More than 200 guests attended the party at Bunker Hills Event Center in Coon Rapids. Guests enjoyed cocktails and appetizers, a brief program with games (including heads or tails – or, in our case – paws up, paws down) and dancing to the music of Good for Gary, a Twin Cities favorite. Check out the photos from the Week of Giving and Panther Party.

Still time to support

While the party may be over, the giving isn’t. Each year, the Foundation identifies a Fund-A-Dream project. This year, the focus is support for career and college readiness programming (see the video). Any size donation helps support experiences beyond the core curriculum that helps students explore career paths and gain real-world skills. We’ve raised more than $25,000 so far. Help grow that by donating online.

Career and College Pathways provides students across grades with real-world experiences. They develop skills within a field and explore different career options. At Spring Lake Park High School, three Pathways represent a predicted need for future jobs – Business and Entrepreneurship, Technology, Engineering and Design, Health and Human Services. Students take courses across Pathways or choose to go deep within one that sparks their interest.  

Fund-A-Dream dollars provide support to cover experiences outside of the core curriculum. Funding helps get students out in the community and connects them with real-world experiences. It also helps purchase specialized tools and technology used in workplaces today to support student’s in developing workforce-ready skills.

“The Week of Giving and Panther Party brings our community together in a such a fun way to support our schools,” says Rachel Folden, Panther Foundation Party co-chair. “Thank you to everyone who participated in the variety of activities and for the remarkable show of support for our schools and students.”

Learn more about Panthers for a Purpose, the Fund-A-Dream project and the work of the Panther Foundation at