Black & White Gourmet Dinner has profound impact on students

Moraine Park Foundation Gourmet Dinner attendees

The Moraine Park Foundation recently hosted its Gourmet Dinner with a special “Black & White” theme.

The event was held on the College’s Fond du Lac campus and helped raise funds for student scholarships and emergency financial assistance. In fact, we’re excited to say that this year’s Gourmet Dinner raised nearly $30,000 for these important causes.

Guests at the event dressed in black and white attire and enjoyed a six-course meal prepared by Moraine Park Culinary Arts students and faculty. They also had the opportunity to enjoy entertainment by local talent, bid on auction items, and try their luck at the event’s popular wine-cork pull and heads-or-tails 50/50 raffle. Take a look at photos from the event below.

The funds raised through this gathering have a profound impact on students, and no one knows that better than Arletta Allen, Moraine Park’s student speaker for the event.

Arletta is married with a blended family of five sons.

She received a 2017 Meritorious Service Award, the Above and Beyond, Awesome Rewards from the College’s Edge Trio Program, and was nominated for Student of the Year

But needless to say, she’s faced many life challenges as she’s pursued her dreams, and the help she’s received through the Moraine Park Foundation has changed her life.

“I am especially grateful to those who have donated to the foundation in regards to student emergency funding and scholarship funding. I took a number of pitfalls along the way but, just as a blanket of soft clouds, the foundation and its donors have been there to break my fall and ensure my success as a student my entire academic career.

I honestly can say that I wouldn’t be standing before you if it weren’t for the generosity of those in this room who cared for me and my family. My gratitude is beyond words,” Arletta said at the event, adding “This is why I turn to you all with my head held high no longer lacking confidence but with great pride and resilience to say I persevered, I ran this race, I am the first college graduate in my family, and I could not have done it without you all!

I am truly honored by the acceptance and love I received as a student.  Moraine Park has shaped my personal perception of education all together.”

Moraine Park President Bonnie Baerwald also spoke to guests, highlighting that there are many other bright, talented individuals like Arletta that still need assistance to achieve their dreams.

“Last year, Moraine Park unveiled its new logo and tag line, ’Imagine What’s Next.’ In part, this tagline represents the hope that the Moraine Park Foundation provides to students who dream of a better future for themselves and their families.  Through your support tonight, you are giving students access to an education they could not otherwise afford.

Did you know that 56% of Moraine Park’s financial aid applicants have a family income of less than $40,000?  And an additional 31% have a family income of less than $20,000?

Did you know that a significant number of Moraine Park students go to school and work part-time in order to achieve their dreams?  And did you also know that in addition to attending classes and working, many of our students are also supporting their families?

Moraine Park students are hard-working, dedicated, determined and focused.  They simply need a hand up and someone who believes in them,” Baerwald said.

To learn more about the Moraine Park Foundation, visit



Written by Dana Bourland
Director of College Advancement