Golden Apple News

Excellence in Education Banquet 2024 brings nearly 400 to celebrate

The Golden Apple Foundation banquet was held Friday, April 26, 2024, at the Tebala Event Center in Rockford, with nearly 400 guests in attendance!

We networked and mingled; we listened to motivating speeches from Golden Apple teachers and the Golden Apple Outstanding Principal; we bid on silent auction items ONLINE; we pulled for spirits and gift cards; and we danced to the music of a live DJ who doubles as a teacher. We also honored a beloved Golden Apple Teacher Academy member, Richard Toppe, with the 2024 Jan Jones Service Award, as Teacher Academy members, board members and staff swarmed the stage to join him and his wife and Jan Jones’ daughter to watch a video of highlights of his service to the organization.

Thank you to these amazing sponsors: Presenting sponsors: Bergstrom Inc. Charitable Foundation and Collins Aerospace. Grove Sponsors: WTVO Channel 17 & WQRF Fox 39, Meg & Rob Hodge, Rockford Register Star, and Rockford University. Our Branch sponsors: Wendy’s and Frank Walter. Apple Barrel sponsors: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Entré Computer Solutions, Field, First Mid Bank & Trust,  GrahamSpencer, McDonald’s Corp, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center, Schnuck Markets, UW Health, Betty Zimmerman, and Brad and Julia Zimmerman. Golden Table sponsors:  Associated Bank, Harlem School District 122, Mercyhealth, Midland States Bank, Morrissey Family Businesses, AAA Rockford Redd Insurance Group and Rockford Public Schools. Thank you also to these additional sponsors: Class of 2023, the family of Ann Dooley, Illinois Bank & Trust, MembersAlliance Credit Union, Regional Office of Education #4, Schmeling Construction Co., Nellie & Bill Miller, Mary Ann Norwood, Patty Stadelman, Stenstrom Foundation, Rich & Mary Anne Toppe and Wal-Mart.

And thank you to everyone who participated in one way or another with donations of time, skills, encouragement, attendance, patience, support and money. With your generous and gracious help, we raised $75,000 this year! We will use those funds for operations and grants and all we do to support our mission of inspiring, celebrating and supporting excellence in education right here in our community. See you next April when we will celebrate primary teachers in Boone and Winnebago counties!

*Thank you to Hamblock for the photo and vehicle for our recipients!