General admission tix for Spring Gala “Night of a Thousand Stars” on sale April 20th, and more!

Tickets for our Underwood Foundation 2nd Annual Spring Gala will go on general admission sale on April 20th (via online BidPal, we will promote link here when available).

Fall 2014 donors at “Friend of Underwood” level (and above) will be notified soon via email regarding their comp tickets.

Fall 2014 donors at “Unicorn Spirit” level  will be notified soon via email about unique pre-sale ticket opportunities .

It is not to late to donate and qualify for comp and pre-sale tickets for the event before general admission tickets go on sale. Giving levels are listed here:

In addition, Corporate Sponsors receive great opportunities and benefits (including event tickets, at certain levels). If you are interested in being a corporate sponsor of this great event (or know a company that might be)  please email us at

The event sold out quickly last year and is going to be even better this year! We thank you for your support!

Parent opportunity to provide input into 2015-16 school year funding priorities

  • When: Wednesday, April 22nd 5:30PM
  • Where: Underwood Elementary School Media Center
  • What: Underwood Foundation Board Parent Input Night

The Underwood Foundation Board has been approached by several parents wanting to provide input into the board funding priorities for the next school year.  From the outset the Foundation was started to support teachers and administration in maximizing the impact on our children’s learning.  The board’s approach is to take significant direction from administration as they have the best understanding of the Wake County budget process and school funding needs.  

To remain transparent in our funding process we have decided to have a meeting that will allow interested parents to communicate needs that they have identified and they feel the board should consider.  All parents are welcome to attend and will have an opportunity to speak and present their ideas.  

As a board we do not vote on any budget items until closer to June time period when we have a full accounting of our budget and when we understand the general direction and amounts of the school budget for next year.  The process is somewhat fluid and like last year we will prioritize funding based on gaps in school budget and then consider opportunities for added support curriculum.

It is our belief that a strong advisory board which well represents Underwood’s parents and administration, values strong process and financial acumen as well as contributions will best serve your investment in the Foundation and Underwood.  Parent night helps us ensure the broadest input and communication as we enter into our budget process.

On the 22nd we will follow a common process similar to what is followed at county and other public meetings.  We will ask anyone who wishes to speak to sign in between 5:15 and 5:35.  We will then call each person wishing to speak in order by sign-in sheet.  Each person will have 3 minutes to present their idea/need and the board will then ask questions to clarify any items.  That process will continue until each person who signed up has an opportunity to speak.  We have allotted 45 minutes of our board meeting agenda to this.  If there is time at the end of speakers we may choose to clarify any items or further discuss any ideas.  There will be no decisions made but all input will be recorded and taken into consideration during the final budget process.

Thank you as always for your continued support!  We look forward to seeing you on April 22nd.

….and don’t forget to buy your tickets to the “A Night of a Thousand Stars” event on May 30th.  Last year’s event was sold out!

Formally approved by IRS / Check on your company match program

The Foundation is pleased to announce that we have been formally approved by the IRS for tax exempt taxes which means all donations received since March 28, 2014 are eligible charitable deduction on donors individual or corporate tax returns.


This status also enables us to be eligible for matching grant from corporations that have a matching grant program.  If your company has such a program please reach out to us at so we can assist in being approved by your employer.  We are already approved by Cicso and others are in process.

As a board we are pleased with the rapid time frame of approval and we believe it demonstrates to our donors the thoroughness of our process and the strength of our team.  A special thank you goes to board members Nicole Kreiser , Colleen Vogler, Brooks Malone who spent considerable effort in getting  these documents submitted.  And a huge thank you to Hughes Pittman and Gupton (Brooks’ firm) and K&L Gates who provided tax consultation and legal support in our application submittal.

We continue to be amazed at the talent and resources at Underwood and the continued passion of our community in supporting great education.

– via Stephen Mangano – Board President

Save the Date for our Spring Event – Saturday, May 30th – Downtown Raleigh


Mark your calendars and save the date for our Spring Event to be held on Saturday, May 30th in Downtown Raleigh. This event sold out quickly last year. Tickets will go on sale after Spring Break, or make a donation at the “Friend of Underwood” donor level or above to secure your tickets today (See “Giving Levels” tab).

An adults-only celebration of our wonderful and supportive school community in a unique downtown venue. A fun-filled night of music, food, wine, beer, silent and live auctions, and more!

Seeking your Gifts and Talents for our annual Event

  • Are you an organized person that likes to be part of a team? 
  • Do you love to plan parties and events? 
  • Are you detail-oriented and passionate about events that run without a hitch? 

If so, the Underwood Foundation is inviting you to be involved with the planning and execution of our annual first-rate event in 2015. This adults-only event is a celebration of the success of our school community and its support of the Foundation. This great night includes wine & beer, top-notch food, silent and live auctions, and entertainment in an exclusive downtown Raleigh location on Saturday, May 30th.

Our inaugural 2014 event “Underwood Under the Stars” sold-out quickly and was a huge hit last year (see photos below) – we are seeking passionate people to help us make it equally (or more) fantastic in 2015!

​If you would like to be involved in planning this year’s event, please contact Jodi Schwartz Long ( and Michelle Jacobs ( by this Friday February 6th. Early planning is underway and we look forward to getting the core event team assembled.

10417261_10202127864259853_540434434_n 10405827_10202126770232503_1420182092_n 10363775_837104799650602_607780322655082786_n

Fifth grade – Our newest alumni

Fifth Grade
“Coin Wars” – Our newest alumni
Some of you may have seen the collection boxes in the 5th graders classrooms.  These ‘coin wars” are what the 5th graders chose as their service project this year.  The goal is to collect loose change and coins each day and build up to collecting $250.  They will be donating these funds to the Underwood Foundation and if they achieve their goal will be listed on the inaugural plaque.
As the inaugural class of the Foundation alumni, we couldn’t be more excited and appreciative of such a great group of students.  Wanting to give back to the next generation and understand the value of their public school education is so fantastic.  Their parents should be very proud of them!
We hope they have started a great tradition and we are truly thankful for their support!

Bridging the Generations: Engaging Underwood Alumni

One of the goals of the Foundation is to engage the community in the success of Underwood and ensure sustainability through the creation of the Endowment.  One of the steps in this process is to reach back to our accomplished alumni and parents of alumni.  A breakfast was held at Kathy Higgins house on Oct 22nd and we had an intimate group of alumni and parents gather to share their experience with the school.  Several, like Earl Johnson, Jr, had not been back to the school in over 50 years even though he drives by it daily.  After breakfast they toured the school and were treated to some elective shares.
The alumni commented on how amazing the school looks and the accomplishments and confidence of our students.  Area Alumni like Dr. Billy Dunlap, commented on how he brings his grandchildren to the playground at the school and was excited to have an opportunity to give back!
This was the first event in what we hope will build a broader alumni engagement.  If you know of or hear of any local alumni, please let us know.  We are building a database and hope to have an alumni event next fall that will help connect more members and help our endowment grow.
Stephen Mangano – Board President and Underwood Parent


Underwood Community comes through yet again!

The Foundation is proud to announce that the goal of 100 families donating by October 10th was surpassed and as a result BlueCross BlueShield of NC will be donating $2,500 to the Foundation. In addition, EVERY teacher/staff member has received a ticket for a drawing of 8 fabulous giveaway items (all donated in-kind by the Board to the Foundation). The drawing will be Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. What a wonderful affirmation to this great staff of community support!
The fall fundraising has had a continued and enthusiastic response and we appreciate all our first time donors.  For those that have not donated, please think about contributing.  The Foundation’s goal is to have have even more families participate.
The official fall campaign is over, but we encourage donations throughout the year.  Think about setting up a recurring payment that will make your yearly giving even easier. For those that donated$1000 and more you will receive information on the Spring event and your tickets as we get closer to the May 30th event.  All others, be on the look out for ticket sales to the spectacular spring event which was sold out last year!
Reminder:  any donation or pledged made through the end of 2014 will count towards your giving level for the Inaugural Plaque.
Thank you again for being such a giving and caring community.  We will announce the final funds raised during the fall campaign soon and provide a summary of the 2014/15 school year allocation.
Underwood Foundation Board

A teacher’s perspective – “It’s empowering…”

As indicated in Steve Mangano’s blog post last week, the Foundation is about the teachers.  We received these great words from one of our long standing Kindergarten teachers, Ms. O’Loughlin.  As you can see being part of Underwood and having the Foundation has continued to motivate and engage her every day in better outcomes.  At a time when public education is under fire, help us make a difference by donating today:

“Living in a neighborhood that invests in their school, thus their community, is a remarkable feeling. Running into people that you know don’t just support you because you’re a neighbor but because you are a teacher that works in the school that’s part of their world. It’s another level of relationship with the families that come to Underwood.

It’s empowering. It creates a sense of pride in what I do. I am respected as a professional. I am lucky enough to see it in the eyes of my neighbors. It therefore encourages me to want to grow and develop even further. When challenges arise, I am supported by these thoughts that I can handle it, I will figure out a way to make this work. I want to. It’s my school, community and neighborhood. They believe in me.”  (Ms. O’Loughlin – Kindergarten Teacher)

Let’s continue to show our support and meet the community participation challenge by October 10th. Download a donor/pledge card today here.

Thank you,

Jodi Schwartz Long, Underwood parent and Foundation Board member


Deadline extended to October 10th- and a challenge we can all meet!

Wow! At the Spring Kick-off Event for the Foundation, I stated that “This is just the beginning!!“, and you have proved that!!
Thanks to the Underwood community’s generosity we are off to a great start in reaching our 2014/15 goal of $125,000.  Our hope is to raise a significant portion during our Fall campaign period.  We chose September so the board members (all volunteering their time and energy) can have a concentrated period of fundraising and parents wouldn’t be getting requests all year long from the Foundation.  To stick close to this, we need more donors to reach our initial targets and ensure our Spring Event will be able to close the remaining gap.
Many of you have given and we greatly appreciate the generosity.  This message is to those that are thinking about giving but have not done so.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC has put a challenge to us that if we hit 100 families donating by October 10th they will fund an additional $2,500 to the Foundation!!!
Please help us.  We are close and your donation is critical in ensuring Underwood maintains its current programming level for next year and that we create opportunities for training and retention of our teachers.  The Foundation made a great impact last year and we know we can do this again this year.  The Foundation needs you to do this. Thank for the opportunity to meet this challenge BCBS NC!
The board has added the ability to pledge now but pay in the Spring and the ability to make monthly payments towards a pledged amount.  These are great and easy ways to ensure your donation helps us in reaching our goal and we get the bonus funds.  Visit ‘Donate’ tab on this site to learn more.
I also said last Spring, that the Foundation…”Is All About the Teachers”.  In that spirit, several board members donated tickets and other special experiences like a beach house weekend, for a special teacher giveaway.  This will only occur if we hit our goal by October 10th of 100 participating families.
Please consider giving $25 for 10 months and reach our $250 level.  This will ensure the Foundation can meet its mission and our children have a consistent and world class experience that we have known Underwood to provide!
Thank you in advance for your consideration and generosity.
Stephen Mangano
Underwood Foundation, Board President