Letter to the Editor: "Taste" Evening A Success!

"Taste of the World" raised money toward 16 grants for teachers from Hanaford and Meadowbrook Farms elementary schools.

The “A Taste of the World” fundraiser held March 10 in support of technology for East Greenwich elementary schools was a huge success, resulting in 16 fully funded grants for teachers at and .

Uniting teachers, parents, and community members, the gala affair was organized by Meadowbrook Farms and Hanaford Schools Technology Group. The goal was to fund grants for technology that teachers had posted on the website Donorschoose.org. Participating teachers included Mrs. Bose and Mrs. Cram of Hanaford as well as the following teachers from Meadowbrook Farms: Mrs. Cerro, Mrs. deGroot, Mrs. Doucette, Mrs. Flanagan, Mrs. Gorter, Mrs. Haskins, Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Mateer, and Mrs. Morris. All of the teachers requested technology-related items including laptop computers, projectors, and digital cameras.

Following the event, the organizers confirmed that the goal had been met and exceeded and that all of the grants had been funded. The total amount raised through donations and matching gifts on the Donors Choose website was in excess of $12,000.

The event was held at the Varnum Amory on Main Street and was a success thanks to the dedication of organizers Bambi Lukens and Kate Goldman; key volunteers including Cheryl Osborne, Meg Simms, Claudia Smith, Dana Gee, Nicole Rainville, Heather Bristol and Julie Johnson and some very supportive husbands. Local food vendors donated samples of their best dishes including Tío Mateo’s, , Millonzi’s, , the Marra Group/ Atomic Catering, , Colleen’s Nutz, Los Andes Restaurant, Munroe Dairy and . A diverse group of sponsors including the , the , the URI Rams, the Boston Red Sox, Walt Disney World, Waterfire Providence and local orthodontist donated 75 different prizes for the silent auction and raffle.

The event took place over the course of three hours as community members, parents, teachers, and other local luminaries mingled, networked, and sampled the local delicacies. There were more than a few lively competitions for some of the silent auction items with bidders jockeying to place last minute bids. Some of the most sought-after items were art projects created by the students specifically for the event including a hand-painted Adirondack chair and two canvas paintings (see attached photograph).

The first technology items purchased as a result of the fundraiser arrived just two days after the event (see photograph) with others coming in over the course of the week.

Teachers continue to publish grants on Donorschoose.org, and community members are invited to donate to their accounts in order to continue to fund technology for classrooms in East Greenwich. The Meadowbrook Farms and Hanaford Schools Technology Group is planning additional fundraising events to benefit the schools and invites anyone interested in getting involved to send an email to egelementaryfundraiserevent@gmail.com. More information will be available in the coming weeks.

— Bambi Lukens and Kate Goldman, event organizers

E.G. Resident March 20, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Great event, Bambi and Kate. It amazed me to see this grassroots effort enliven the school community and the community at large. I hope the giving continues.
La Dolce Vita March 21, 2012 at 04:39 PM
kudos to Bambi Lukins, Kate Goldman and the rest of the dedicated parents of this initiative. It illustrated that a grass roots initiative, along with some food (all donated), beverages, and good company make things happen. And quickly !!


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