Desert Christian Academy raises $250,000 for scholarships


By Cara Van Dijk

Bermuda Dunes, CA– “America’s Mayor,” Rudy Giuliani and the hometown heroes among us were honored Saturday night at Desert Christian Academy’s 22nd Annual Auction Gala: “A Heroes’ Welcome.” The fundraising event was generously underwritten by the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, which also contributed a matching grant of $50,000. The auction raised $250,000 for Desert Christian Academy’s tuition assistance program.

 Nearly 500 people attended the event as the 2008 Presidential Candidate helped honor several community members for their contributions in our area. Lisa Houston, president and CEO of FIND Food Bank, Aurora Wilson, director of community resources at the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), and Jennifer Johnson, a 2009 graduate of Desert Christian Academy and now on the LPGA tour, were recognized as hometown heroes. Each of the recipients was presented with a $2,000 gift toward their chosen organization: FIND Food Bank, Roy’s Resource Center and the Wounded Warrior Project, respectfully. Johnson is an advocate for the Wounded Warrior Project, which assists injured servicemen and women.

You are producing people who give back,” Mayor Giuliani remarked about the faith-based school during his keynote address. “The real way to measure heroism is how much you give back.”

“America’s Mayor,” Rudy Giuliani & Congress woman Mary Bono-Mack

Mayor Giuliani spoke of the brave men and women who responded to the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The crowd applauded law enforcement, fire and other first responders attending. Veterans and active duty military were also recognized. Elected officials, including Rep.Mary Bono Mack, who introduced Mayor Giuliani, were thanked for their public service. Elected officials attending included Coachella Mayor Eduardo Garcia, Desert Hot Springs Mayor Yvonne Parks and Desert Hot Springs Councilman Scott Matas, Indio Mayor Glenn Miller and Indio City Councilwoman Lupe Ramos Watson, La Quinta Mayor Don Adolph and La Quinta City Councilwoman Kristy Franklin, Palm Desert Councilwoman Jan Harnik and Rancho Mirage Councilman Scott Hines.

It was truly a one-of-a-kind experience to unite our elected heroes and community servants who dedicate so much of their lives for the betterment of others,” said Dave Fulton, Desert Christian Academy’s founder and head of school. The auction was preceded by a VIP reception for elected officials to meet Mayor Giuliani.

 Doctors and teachers in the audience were also thanked for their public service. Desert Christian Academy acknowledged several local teachers representing all three public school districts in the Coachella Valley as well as their own fantastic faculty and staff.

 Desert Christian Academy’s Tuition Assistance Program allows students from all economic backgrounds the opportunity to attend the Faith-based, Christ-centered institution that builds exceptional students of great character. Desert Christian Academy, located in Bermuda Dunes, California, is home to nearly 500 students from toddlers to 12th grade, and is the leading college preparatory school in the Coachella Valley.

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