Published: Jul 24, 2012 2:55 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla - The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools will kick-off its “Golden Ticket” fundraising campaign on August 1st , 7:30 a.m. with a breakfast at Busey Bank in Fort Myers. Business and community leaders will raise awareness of the importance of education, as well as much needed funding during the 10 week campaign. “Golden Tickets” will be distributed with a suggested donation of $25 each. Grand prizes include a $10,000 Trade to Travel luxury vacation package; $2,500 Mark Loren Designs Gift Certificate; $1,000 Miromar Outlets shopping spree; and $500 cash prize. The drawing will be held on October 11, 2012, 1:00 p.m. at the Gwynne Institute in downtown Fort Myers. Tickets can be purchased beginning August 1st by visiting and clicking “Get Involved”.

Proceeds from the campaign will benefit programs and initiatives of The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. The Foundation was established in 1986 by a group of concerned business leaders that realized the basis for a strong economy began with a sound educational system. Each year, the Foundation implements programs and initiatives in the school district that support students and teachers. College scholarships and mentors are provided to low-income, at-risk students in the school district through the Take Stock in Children Program; teachers are recognized and awarded for excellence in the classroom through the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program; fifth grade students are taught social skills, respect, and self-confidence through the Dancing Classrooms Program; and each month, more than 100 teachers visit the Teacher Resource Center, which provides classroom supplies to district teachers at no charge. These are just a few of more than 15 programs implemented each year.

“Having raised in excess of $30 million during the past 25 years, The Foundation For Lee County Public Schools Inc. is proud to partner with the business community on behalf K-12 public education to generate funding for the many valuable programs that enhance, enrich and cause children to excel in education and in their lives,” said Ken O’Donnell, executive vice president, Florida market president, Busey Bank. O’Donnell is a board member at the Foundation, and is leading the charge for the “Golden Ticket” campaign.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, call Janelle Beaber at 239-337-0433, email, or visit