The Public Education Foundation’s 24th Annual Education Hero Award Gala will transform to a virtual extravaganza this year to honor community heroes who stepped up on behalf of students and families during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The show will broadcast on Vegas PBS and online at on September 11, 2020, from 7-8:30 pm. 

For the past 23 years, The Public Education Foundation has held an Education Hero Award Gala to celebrate public education advocates who have demonstrated courage, leadership, and service. This year’s Education Hero Award Gala is dedicated to our Community Heroes. 

Over the past few months, we have witnessed the power of communities pulling together. Untold numbers of people in the Las Vegas community have acted heroically to support our students and families as we have all tried to cope with this global pandemic. On September 11, The Foundation will recognize and celebrate some of these unsung individuals. 

“This fast-paced evening will be inspiring, sometimes humorous, and deeply touching – featuring a variety of celebrities, artists, business and community leaders, elected officials, students, families, and more,” said Judi Steele, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Public Education Foundation. “We believe this is a defining moment in time when all of us – educators, families and the community – must work together in a renewed commitment to improving outcomes for all students.”

This is the community’s first major virtual gala to occur since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down large gatherings. Inspired by the One World: Together at Home event held on April 18, the show on September 11 is the first event approved by the FCC nationally to receive a fundraising waiver in response to COVID-19. 

“Nonprofits are facing unprecedented challenges and many depend on an annual gala as their biggest fundraiser,” said Tom Axtell, General Manager of Vegas PBS. “When leaders of The Public Education Foundation requested our assistance with their Gala, we quickly huddled with our management team and made a precedent setting request to the FCC to grant a waiver to use our broadcast channel to help raise funds for a nonprofit, whose mission is related to Vegas PBS programming and services. We are thrilled the FCC granted our request allowing Vegas PBS and The Public Education Foundation to move forward with this partnership. Vegas PBS is the first PBS station in the country to receive permission for emergency on air fundraising for community nonprofits. We hope it will be the first of several in the coming months.”