City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
Courtesy of Fred Herdman Photography

Featured Article

Championing Student Excellence

Lake Travis Education Foundation

Lake Travis Education Foundation (LTEF) has been a driving force in Lake Travis ISD (LTISD), ensuring exceptional education for all students through strategic partnerships and vital fundraising. With avenues for involvement like volunteering and sponsorships, LTEF empowers teachers and students to succeed. Last year, 101 grants were awarded, enhancing learning and achievements. Additionally, 29 scholarships were granted to outstanding LTHS graduates. In this interview with Amy Thomas, Director of Corporate Relations for LTISD & LTEF, we explore the inspiring evolution of the LTEF Gala, the auction item selection process, and celebrate LTEF's dedication to a brighter future for Lake Travis.

MW: Can you tell us more about your role and how Lake Travis Education Foundation (LTEF) has impacted the community over the years?

AT: My role as the Director of Corporate Relations for LTISD & LTEF involves actively engaging with the Lake Travis community. This allows me to connect local businesses and individuals with the needs in our schools. Lake Travis ISD is united with the passion of educating all students using a comprehensive curriculum that emphasizes scholastic excellence. LTEF raises money to provide financial resources to support exemplary education. We achieve this by forming partnerships with local businesses, parents, and the community. Partnering with LTEF can involve volunteering time, attending an event, sponsoring and advertising, donating auction items or in-kind goods and services, and giving monetary gifts, including stocks and appreciation, crypto currency (in process), and planned gifts such as a will or living trust.

MW: What inspired the creation of the Annual LTEF Gala, and how has it evolved over time?

AT: The Annual LTEF Gala was created as an opportunity to raise significant funds for our schools. Over time, it has grown in size, popularity, and financial support. The Gala features exciting themes, from Masquerade Balls to A Night at the Races, adding a fun element to the event. With nearly 700 attendees, the Gala includes a cocktail hour with a silent auction, followed by dinner and entertainment featuring LTISD students. The live auction, led by energetic Cowboy auctioneers, generates a lot of excitement. The evening concludes with live music and dancing. We are fortunate to have the support of school leaders, community leaders, dignitaries, and dedicated parents who attend the Gala every year.

MW: Can you walk us through the process of selecting auction items for the LTEF Gala, and what factors are taken into consideration?

AT: The auction item selection process begins with the auction committee reaching out to previous donors to request donations. This year, Andrea Steimle and Windsor Fields led the silent auction committee, working diligently to secure amazing packages. The entire board also actively solicits donations from community businesses and families. The decision to include an item in the live or silent auction is based on the item's value and input from the auctioneer team, who have extensive experience and knowledge of what attracts higher bids.

MW: How does the Nikolas Alan Jewelers auction item donation support the mission of the LTEF?

AT: The donation of a jewelry piece by Nikolas Alan Jewelers aligns perfectly with our mission. It is a unique, custom-made item from a member of our Lake Travis community, and it holds significant value. By supporting the LTEF Gala through their bid, individuals not only contribute to LTISD but also support a local business owner and friend. Just as LTEF raises funds to benefit our community schools, Nikolas Alan Jewelers gives back to support the families and children in our district.

MW: Can you share any upcoming initiatives or projects that the LTEF has in the works?

AT: While we have our annual events such as Kinder Club, 'FORE' the kids Golf Tournament, Hill Country Turkey Trot, Butterfly Brunch, and the Annual Gala, our primary focus is on building up our endowment funds. Currently, the LTEF endowment is close to 1 million dollars, and our goal is to reach 5 million. This will provide a stable and sustainable source of income to cover operating costs and expenses, allowing more funds to directly benefit the classrooms. It will also reduce the pressure to continually expand our events while still increasing the financial support for LTISD schools. Investing in the LTEF endowment will have a long-lasting impact on future generations of students, ensuring the tradition of educational excellence remains a cornerstone of the Lake Travis Community. We encourage you to contribute to the endowment fund by visiting our website at and clicking on the donation link.

"By supporting the LTEF Gala through a bid, individuals not only contribute to LTISD but also support a local business owner and friend."

  • Courtesy of Fred Herdman Photography
  • Courtesy of Fred Herdman Photography
  • Courtesy of Fred Herdman Photography
  • Courtesy of  Pixster Photo Booth
  • Courtesy of Fred Herdman Photography
  • Courtesy of Fred Herdman Photography