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Event will help most innovative teachers

by KAYE THORNBRUGH
Staff Writer | July 13, 2021 1:07 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — The public is invited to explore the gardens at Casco Bay — and support local schools while they’re at it.

Hosted by the Hagadone family, an evening at Casco Bay will benefit the EXCEL Foundation, a local nonprofit that supports teachers and students in the Coeur d’Alene School District by awarding grants for innovative educational projects.

Since 1987, the foundation has given out more than $2 million to fund teaching projects in District 271, from kilns and 3D printers to fish hatcheries and beyond.

“The EXCEL Foundation is probably the one in Coeur d’Alene that’s given the most to the school district,” said Bobby Myers, president of the foundation's board.

Much of that money comes from the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser, which this year takes place on Thursday, July 29.

Two cruise boats will depart from The Coeur d’Alene Resort and sail to Casco Bay, where attendees will enjoy food and drinks, as well as tours of the garden and home of Duane and Lola Hagadone.

General admission tickets cost $150 each, while VIP tickets — which include an extended cruise and live music — cost $200 each. Space is limited.

Myers said it promises to be a one-of-a-kind evening.

“This is the one and only time EXCEL gets to do this at (the Hagadone family’s) home,” he said.

Lola Hagadone was a founding board member, Myers said, and she’s continued to support EXCEL over the years.

The special evening was originally planned for 2020 but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, despite the death of Duane Hagadone in April, the fundraiser will go on as planned.

It’s the Hagadone family’s wish, Myers said.

“They’re 100 percent behind the organizations they’ve supported,” he said.

Tickets: www.excelfoundation.org