Thursday, February 28, 2013

Impact Award: Center Director Draws Community Event to Mansfield

When most people look at the MISD Center for the Performing Arts they envision choir and band concerts, graduations and district events. When Center Director, Flo Torres looks at the facility, she sees all of those things, plus a vast realm of exciting possibilities.

Torres joined Mansfield ISD as the Center Director in August of 2012, bringing with her over a decade of experience in the special events industry. It didn’t take long for Torres to recognize the potential for the Center and the positive impact the facility could have on the district and community.

After only a few months on the job, Torres set her sights on the upcoming Toys for Tots event. The nationwide campaign collects toys and funds for less fortunate children during the holiday season. She knew this event would be a fantastic way to showcase the Center while contributing to a worthy cause.

“The Toys for Tots event brings an opportunity for communities to get together,” said Torres. “I think we, as an entity, can bring so much to the table.”

After conversations and planning meetings, Torres announced that for the first time, MISD would be an official drop-off location for the Toys for Tots organization. To add to the excitement, Fox 4 News confirmed that the Center would be one of their designated sites for live news coverage.

Collection boxes were dispersed to all MISD campuses and dozens of local businesses, student performances were scheduled, vendor booths and activities were sponsored, and Santa Claus and his reindeer were rumored to be in attendance!

Despite the frosty weather on the night of the event, the school district and community came out in full force. A collective donation of over 16,000 toys and $17,000 was presented to representatives of the Toys for Tots organization. It was one of the largest donations the organization had ever received from a single collection event in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

“The Mansfield community responded in an amazing way,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Vaszauskas. “In my 31 years of education, the Mansfield Toys for Tots event was the greatest charitable effort that I have ever seen.”

Following the event, it was clear that the district and community were wowed by the successful outcome, but Torres was most impressed with the hard work put forth by her team and an army of volunteers.

“The commitment of the employees of the ISD is amazing,” Torres said. “I kept seeing people that we didn’t even call to help us showing up and helping, whether it was directing traffic or picking up trash, they looked around and saw a need and took care of it.”

Torres pursued the Toys for Tots event in hopes that she could show that the MISD Center for the Performing Arts has a lot to offer to the Mansfield community. In the end, she was able to meet that goal, and she also discovered that the community has much to offer in return.

“I was able to see firsthand the power of this community,” said Torres. “I am very proud to be part of the team.”

On behalf of the MISD Administration, congratulations to Flo Torres, our latest Impact Award Winner!

YouTube Video: MISD Impact Award - Flo Torres 

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The Impact Award was established to recognize individual staff members, departments, campuses or other district groups that have promoted teamwork and unity by initiating a program or event that made a positive impact within Mansfield ISD and the community. Impact Award winners may be nominated by staff, students or community members.

Winners are selected throughout the school year. Staff members who receive the Impact Award are eligible for other district honors.