Beer and wine were in abundance at this year’s Portage Township Education Foundation Brewfest in Woodland Park in Portage. April 15 was the 10th anniversary of the event, a fundraiser for the Foundation that awards grants to Portage schools.
“Our board makes this event a success because we work together so well. We have the community support and school support. We have everyone behind us,” said Christine Field, a PTEF member.
Attendees were welcomed to choose from three different types of glasses when they entered the Brewfest, and sample as many of the libations as they liked. There was a wide range of drinks - everything from wine, mead, beer, and cider were available.
“It’s so fun here, and we love to be able to support the schools,” said Liz Moses, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce.
The event included a silent auction with a range of items from an autographed Blackhawks jersey to framed photographs of the Portage Lakefront. Attendees were welcomed to bid on the items throughout the night. There were also live auctions for the chance to have lunch with a local member of the Portage Police and Fire Departments.
“All of the money raised at tonight's event goes directly into the hands of PTS teachers & staff to enhance our students learning experience. The Education Foundation is committed to ensuring excellence in education and is extremely passionate about making the classroom experience a fun atmosphere that students will enjoy,” said Shannon Pierce, PTEF President.
While guests ate and drank, a slideshow played featuring photos of Portage students taking advantage of the programs funded by PTEF.
“We want to highlight what this evening is about. We wanted the public to see where their money is going; this is for the kids,” said Ruth Cozza, a retired 1st grade teacher and PTEF member.
For the 2015-16 school year PTEF was able to award nine grants to a wide variety of programs: Captivating Centers, Majolica Renaissance, S.T.E.M Club, Can You Dig It?, It’s All About The Frog, Inquiring Minds Want to Learn, Graphic Novel Library, Finch Robots, and the Thibideau Reading Challenge. They were able to increase the number of grants to 15 for the next year, and hope to raise enough for that growth to continue. Since 2006, PTEF has awarded over $130,000 in grant & scholarship money.
“All the neat things happening in the school corporation, it’s gives me goosebumps,” Cozza said.
“We are proud to partner with this great group of people who provide support in rewarding educational excellence that directly impacts student achievement,“ said Nancy Simpson, Executive Director of Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce.