Three SLP community members wearing Spirit Wear smiling with the Panther mascot

The Panther Foundation’s annual fundraising event returned with a Week of Giving and Panther Party that raised more than $120,000 to support activities and programs benefiting the students of Spring Lake Park Schools.

The Week of Giving, February 21-26, 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 350 packages open for bidding. The silent auction alone raised more than $50,000.

The culminating event of the week was the Panther Party on Saturday, February 26. More than 225 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.

“We are thrilled with the response to the Week of Giving and Panther Party,” says Tanya Hartwell, Panther Foundation co-chair. “It was especially gratifying to be able to come together again in person to celebrate our community and our schools at the Panther Party. Thank you to everyone who participated and for the remarkable show of support for our schools.”

Watch a special thank you message:

Supporting milestone moments

Each year, the Foundation identifies a Fund-A-Dream project. This year, the special focus was support for specific milestone moments in the life of a Spring Lake Park student.

“The start of kindergarten, the transition to Westwood for all 5th graders and the beginning of high school are critical moments in a student’s life at SLP,” says Colleen Pederson, Panther Foundation Executive Director. “Through the generous support for this project, we will be able to create experiences that help kids in these moments to feel comfortable, confident and that they belong.”

Fund-A-Dream dollars will support three main efforts at kindergarten, 5th grade and 9th grade.

In-coming kindergarteners will have the opportunity to attend Kinder Camp in August to gain comfort and confidence before the beginning of school. Westwood Welcome will support a seamless transition to Westwood as fifth graders come together for the first time. For freshmen starting at the high school, Panther Mentors help ensure a welcoming, personalized and successful start to a student's high school career.

Learn more about the Milestone Moments project and the work of the Panther Foundation at

View photos from the Week of Giving and Panther Party Event

Panthers for a Purpose event - 2022