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North Hills planning to hold May fundraiser in person

SALISBURY — North Hills Christian School has determined to hold its major annual fundraiser in person this year.

The fundraiser, called IMPACT, is still more than two months away and will be held May 13. The school announced the event would be held in-person on Monday morning via Facebook.

The fundraiser, featuring catered lunch and a silent auction among its programming, sets a $200,000 fundraising goal for the school, which provides more than $1 million in tuition assistance to families. About 70% of students at North Hills receive tuition assistance.

Advancement Director Nikki Eagle said the fundraiser was moved to to a virtual format “quickly” as COVID-19 cases increased last year

“We have been planning IMPACT for months in hopes that we would be able to host it in person,” North Hills Executive Director Maria Lowder said. “We have gone back and forth about whether to have an in-person or virtual event, but after the governor’s announcement last week and easing some restrictions, we are moving forward with planning an in-person, outdoor event. We want our families, staff and partners to be safe and feel comfortable.”

The school is still working out the details of the events, and as of right now it is planning to limit seating to match Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive orders, check temperatures and require masks.

Lowder said the school’s decisions are based on Cooper’s pandemic restrictions.

“Before he made the announcement last week easing restrictions, we wouldn’t have been able to or felt comfortable doing an outdoor event,” Lowder said, adding the school can now hold an event with limited numbers safely and meet state guidelines.

Last year’s event, held in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, was virtual, but the school still managed to raised about $165,000. Lowder said the fundraiser generates 10% of the nonprofit’s annual budget and met its goal for five years prior to the pandemic.

The funding goes into the school’s operating budget to fund maintenance, scholarship, salaries and other expenses for the school.

“Every year we budget to break even,” Lowder said. “We hope to not lose money, so yes, if we do not meet the goal we are losing $35,000 that year.”

The school plans to continue to monitor the situation. Lowder said if restrictions continue to ease it will make adjustments, and if the opposite happens it will adjust in the other direction as well.

“It was scheduled in April last year,’ Lowder said. “You can remember what March and April looked like last year. We were, at the very beginning, all hopeful that still, even though we shut down for two weeks that at that point in time we were going to do an April event.”

Lowder said she was part of a call with local and private schools this week which included discussion of outdoor prom and graduation programs in the coming months as well.

“We’re excited and hopeful that we will be able to do this,” Lowder said.

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