Twin Oaks Christian School’s Celebration 46 Gala was a delightful time of celebration, fellowship and sacrificial giving among God’s people. Held on Thursday, Nov. 8, at Ballpark Village in downtown St. Louis, the event kicked off and concluded with the St. Louis jazz ensemble, Trio Monaco.
“There is an unmistakable air of excitement the moment you walk in to Ballpark Village,” said Middle School Language Arts Teacher and Development Coordinator Ms. Heather Sartin. “I love the atmosphere there. It is festive and elegant and the staff are incredibly attentive to all of our needs from technical to aesthetic.”
Sartin said she recalled praying last year, as she set up for the Celebration 45 Gala, that the 2018 keynote speaker would be the new Head of School. “God is faithful in His timing to bring to us exactly what we need,” said Sartin. “Hearing Dave speak reminded me of that very promise.”
That said, this year’s Gala was special in that the new Head of School Dr. Dave Schall gave his personal testimony on how God led him to Twin Oaks Christian School. Having worked at Westminster Christian Academy for 12 years before being called to Twin Oaks, Dr. Schall said he understood the value of Christian education from a teacher/administrator perspective. What he did not fully grasp, however, was the value of Christian education from a parenting perspective.
“I have two kids at this school, a fifth grader and a third grader, and I can tell you that they are being challenged academically more than they ever have before, and we were at a pretty good school,” said Dr. Schall, whose children attended a public school before transferring to Twin Oaks this summer. “Beyond that, though — more than that — when the Holy Spirit lives in the heart of your teachers, it completely changes the game.”
When asked what he hoped the community took away from his testimony, Schall said, “Many people have thanked me for sharing my testimony that night. Outside of that, the only response I can give is that ‘It’s God’s story, so it is easy to tell.'”
Twin Oaks parent and CEO of Keystone Technologies, Mr. Andy Belval, also gave his testimony on why he and his wife, Marci, chose Twin Oaks for their three sons.
“We chose Twin Oaks for its superior academics, and our belief that it would provide our children with an experience that would enable them to discover their place in God’s world and to learn to love Jesus Christ and others with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength,” said Belval.
Andy called to attention the uniqueness of the TOCS community, from the deep friendships his family has forged through the years, to how school families come together to serve each other in times of both celebration and grief. Marci, Andy’s wife, is the administrative assistant to Dr. Schall.
Before opening the evening for donations, Dr. Schall made a point often lost when considering the cost of tuition. He noted the disparity between what families pay for tuition and what it actually costs to educate a student at Twin Oaks. “It costs anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 more per student,” explained Schall. “We’d like to close that gap.”
Schall went on to announce this year’s fundraising goal of $75,000 and that donations would go to the Annual Fund, which covers a variety of needs including technology upgrades, classroom supplies and the tuition price gap.
“Once again our fundraising goal of $75,000 was exceeded at the Celebration 46 Gala, with a preliminary total of $97,000 coming in through gifts and pledges,” said TOCS Director of Advancement and Admissions Rachel Stain in a follow-up email to the Gala 46 table hosts, adding, “Please join us in thanking God for his continued provision to Twin Oaks Christian School!”
And praise God we will.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” ~Philippians 4: 19-20
View Facebook Live footage HERE.
To view sponsors of the Celebration 46 Gala, click HERE.