Benefit raises $14,000 for the Harlingen Area Education Foundation

Using style to help support educational programs, Dare 2 Be Different (D2BD) held its 4th annual “Stride with Pride” fashion benefit to raise a total of $14,000 for the Harlingen Area Educational Foundation (HAEF).

A total of 227 members of the business, professional and education community attended the black tie event held at The Reese.

Members of D2BD participated as models for the fashion event and each model was a senior at Harlingen High School or Harlingen High School South. To participate each member had to raise at least $500 with some participants raising more than $1,000. The evening also saw performances by The HHS Glee Club and Rio Grande Valley Art Studio.

“It’s so nice to see the students raise money for education,” said Janine Marie, founder of D2BD. “ It makes them proud of the educational system they come from.”

Administrators also had the opportunity to show their support by walking down the runway during a special portion of the event.

Dillard’s generously donated the clothing showcased in the fashion show. Additional sponsors included the Rotary Club of Harlingen, Spawglass, Key Mortgage, First Community Bank, The Reese, Boggus Ford and Casa de Novia.

The resources gathered will add significantly to the HAEF budget, and will help the foundation to continue funding programs such as New Directions, Texas Scholars, Rising Leaders and HCISD Technology Academy.

“This is what can happen when the business community and school district develop a partnership for the benefit of our students,” said Gerry Fleuriet, HCISD school board member. “The success of this foundation is almost as mind boggling as the problems it was created to address and we thank everyone for their support.”

The HAEF was established in 1990 as an independent non-profit to promote quality education in HCISD schools and provide supplemental programs to support at-risk youth and lower dropout rates The Foundation provides means for underfunded educational programs and activities, which are used to facilitate student achievement and skill development and to expand community involvement for individuals, business and civic organizations. In addition, the foundation provides scholarships for students who are in financial need. As of 2012, the HAEF has provided $379,500 in scholarships.

To learn more about how to donate to the Harlingen Area Education Foundation click here 

For inquiries on how to partner with HCISD to help our students please contact HCISD Marking Coordinator Corey Ryan at

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