Conscious party: Funky Formal

PLAY MONEY: Students at Francince Delany New School for Children will be invited to provide input regarding the playground coming to their campus. The scope of the project will depend, in part, on the level of funds raised at the Funky Formal event. Photo courtesy of FDNSC

WHAT: A dance party benefiting Francine Delany New School for Children

WHERE: Isis Restaurant and Lounge

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m. to midnight

WHY: Francine Delany New School for Children — a charter school with a social justice mission, now celebrating its 20th year — provides a learning environment for 174 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“We only have one classroom per grade, so all of the students know one another, and the teachers know students even if they don’t have them yet,” says parent Tara Byassee, who is also an administrative assistant for FDNSC and volunteer organizer for the Funky Formal. “It feels like a little community.”

When the students go outside to play, however, they’ve got limited resources.

“Currently, we just have one swing set and a wooden play structure that was purchased for us by a family,” Byassee explains. “And it’s just outlived its lifetime.”

FDNSC will break ground on the campus’ final building this summer. “So, while we have all of that construction work going, we wanted to finish out the playground,” Byassee explains. If all goes as planned, grants and the Funky Formal will help school leaders reach their $20,000 to $25,000 goal for the project.

“This is a fun-filled, dress-up dance party,” Byassee says of the upcoming fundraiser. “Guests can wear their funkiest or most formal outfits.”

The night’s main entertainment is Pop Quiz, a garage band of teachers from FDNSC and Vance Elementary School. After the band’s set of ’80’s and ’90s covers, DJ Ben Herring will continue the throwback music.

Though children are welcome to attend, Byassee says The Funky Formal is geared toward teachers, parents and other adult supporters. In fact, it’s a rare opportunity for these parties to mingle while not watching over youths, she says.

Tickets to the French Broad River Festival and LEAF are among the silent auction prizes, and the raffle will include four Disney Park Hopper passes, an Orlando vacation, a $500 cash prize, artwork from Jonas Gerard and the Westside Artist Co-op, and more.

Visit for information or to purchase tickets ($10). Tickets are also available in-person at FDNSC or at the door.


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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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