The McFarland Education Foundation is hosting a bash to raise some cash for scholarships and grants.
The annual MEF Winter Bash will be held from 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at Spartan Bowl to raise money for senior scholarships and grants for teachers.
The adults-only event features free bowling and food, 50/50 raffles, a DJ and cash bar.
Tickets are $15 in advance at 2019mefwinterbash.eventbrite.com or $20 at the door.
“We have everything from gift baskets to condo stays in Door County, electronics, grilling, it’s a wide variety of things,” MEF fundraising event coordinator Lindsay Lamb said.
Silent auction items are posted on the MEF Facebook page to preview before the event. Those who cannot attend can bid from home.
MEF has awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships since its creation 14 years ago.
“The education foundation started as a really small, tiny, little group that thought it would be important to help kids out after they graduated,” Lamb said. “It turned into a big group doing big things.”
Last year, MEF gave 72 scholarships, totaling about $50,000. Scholarships are given to students entering a four-year college or university or entering a trade. The majority of students who apply for a scholarship receive one, and students are matched with scholarships they fit the criteria for.
“It’s really important, because I know that there’s so many students out there with debt, yet we’re encouraging people to continue their education after high school,” MEF member and executive secretary for the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board Connie Hutchison said.
MEF relies heavily on private donors who give scholarships in memory or name of someone, but many others are provided through fundraising.
“This is one way our community can show our students that we support their continuing education so it’s more affordable for them,” Hutchison said.
“It’s giving kids some opportunity to maybe do something that they couldn’t without the help of scholarships and encouraging students to continue education in one way or another,” Lamb said.
In addition to scholarships, MEF awards grants to McFarland teachers for additional programs. Eight grants were awarded in the last two years to bring in authors, install sensory hallways at the elementary school and fund McFarland High School peace projects.
“A lot of teachers spend their own money doing things for the classrooms,” Hutchison said.
The grants help teachers provide students with creative activities through community-supported funding.
Teachers can apply for grants twice each year, and grants are given based on the emergency of the need.
The annual Bill Garvey Golf Outing, MEF’s second fundraiser of the year, is scheduled for July 25.