The Partnership Party


Our first gala at the JX Event Venue in downtown Stillwater was a huge success. Nearly 300 people gathered to mingle and have fun for a very good cause: raising funds to support teachers and students in Stillwater Area Public Schools.

We celebrated Duke, the amazing wire, plastic bag, paper and duct tape horse, as well as the sculptor who made him: Michael Finch, a 10th grader at Stillwater Area Public Schools. Duke was sold to an art lover who is over the moon at his good fortune.

There was a Wine Pull, Mystery Wall, Silent Auction and a Live Auction with friendly, yet VERY spirited competitive bidding. Our generous donors also supported a Yoga Calm initiative in our elementary schools. It’s described below the pictures. HUGE THANKS to Vickey Weiss Photography for providing the photos of the night!

Join us next year, on Friday, April 5, 2019, at the JX Event Venue.

Our Special Appeal will support Yoga Calm, an innovative new program enjoying phenomenal success in a pilot project this year.

Yoga Calm is a program that uses breathing techniques and movements derived from yoga but specifically designed to apply to students who are having difficulty with anxiety and self-control issues. Teachers who have been trained in this method and are applying it in their classes will often have students do a series of these exercises that are intended to slow down the frenzy that sometimes overtakes children. If kids can’t figure out how to calm themselves, it will be impossible for them to be able to learn, and their actions may interfere with the ability of other students in the class to learn as well.

Yoga Calm was initiated in Lake Elmo Elementary School this year as a pilot project. It was funded, in part, by The Partnership Plan.

The program was rolled out by training all LE teachers in the Yoga Calm methods. In addition, Yoga Calm experts come in at various times throughout the year to work with classes. These interventions are not necessarily for the benefit for the students; they are designed to help teachers deepen their knowledge and expertise with Yoga Calm methods.

The results have been unequivocal. There are almost too many anecdotes to quote. One teacher reports that in 27 years, this was the most challenging class, behaviorally, that she has ever had; but Yoga Calm has enabled her to be in control of the class and moving them successfully through lessons all day long. Another teacher was an avowed skeptic of it (“just another program”); she is now one of its biggest fans after seeing how it worked to help her students self-regulate their behavior.

Even better, one of the methods built into the exercises calls for the students to compliment each other on the actions that a student is taking as a leader of a specific movement. In this way, students are learning how to express kindness and appreciation for each other.

At the Partnership Party, our generous attendees pledged more than $34,000 for this important project, but more donations are needed. If you would like to contribute, please click here.

To see the 3-minute video describing the Yoga Calm program at Lake Elmo Elementary, click on the photo below.


“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”   William Butler Yeats