On Aug 15, Van Alstyne High School hosted an event called VAEngage. Van Alstyne Independent School District Superintendent David Brown said this inaugural event was to bring the community together.

“We want to foster a partnership betwee the district and the business community,” said Brown.

The event had 34 vendors set up to do drawings and give aways, or just hand out information on their business. Brown said he thinks the event was a huge hit. “I believe both the vendors and staff found value in the event,” Brown said. “Our staff enjoyed the opportunity to see the various small businesses in which they could do business with locally.”

Irina Cowles of Lift Dance said she set up a booth at the event because it was a great opportunity to promote her business to the entire Van Alstyne ISD faculty. Cowles was able to talk to and obtain contact information for many potential custormers.

Cowles said the event was dynamic. “There were many opportunities to promote ourselves as well as to learn more about local businesses in the area,” she stated. “We were very grateful for that opportunity and we are looking forward to more events like that.”

She also credits the organizers on a job well done. “It was also very well organized,” Cowles said. “Many thanks to the organizers.”

Brown said he is hoping to turn the VAEngage into an annual district event.

“Van Alstyne ISD was pleased to have the opportunity to partner with our local businesses to show our staff what makes Van Alstyne unique and special,” said Brown. “We appreciate all the businesses who participated and look forward to working with them in the future.”

Monkey See Monkey Do Exotic Petting Zoo was also onsite with some exotic animals. Richard Louis had his friends Tinker, Tonka and George with him to help greet the people. Tinker and Tonka are Asian Small Clawed Otters and George is a Kinkajou — a rainforest mammal.

Some of the vendors included Grayson College Van Alstyne Campus, Guild Mortgage, and Lift Dance, amongst others. Adams Automative and Towing also announced a discount for any student with a Van Alstyne student ID.