Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Table reservations start Wednesday, Aug. 1 for Mountain Education Foundation’s “An Evening with Henry Winkler” fundraiser, a coffee and dessert event at Signal Mountain Middle/High School set for Thursday, Sept. 6 from 6-8:30 p.m.
“We anticipate a full house,” said MEF Executive Director Mike Taylor. “Folks get to visit with friends, hear what’s going on in the schools and hear a great speaker.”
Henry “The Fonz” Winkler stars in a film to be released in October called “Here Comes the Boom,” in which he plays a band director at a failing school where funding for the arts has been placed on the cutting block.
“That’s the thing that makes [Winkler’s appearance] such a neat tie-in this year,” said Taylor. “MEF pays for the arts and extracurricular activities, so this very much relates to the issues we deal with here on Signal Mountain.”
The cost to reserve a table is $125, which includes eight guests. Last year’s MEF fundraiser with speaker Leigh Anne Tuohy, whose story is the basis of the film “The Blind Side,” sold out through table sales alone, prompting MEF to add 20 more tables at the 2012 event.
Individual tickets for Winkler’s appearance will be available for $20 beginning Wednesday, Aug. 15 if space remains.
Taylor said the annual event is MEF’s largest fundraiser, and the goal this year is to bring in $210,000.
“Annually we need to raise about $200 a child to fill the funding gaps in our schools and provide the extra resources our teachers and students need,” said Taylor in regards to the books, technology, lab equipment and other items MEF funds in mountain schools. “Our school continues to be ranked high here in the state because of the resources we’ve been able to provide thanks to the folks here on Signal Mountain.”
Due to the $201,000 raised at the 2011 event, mountain students last year were able to forego one of the traditional school fundraising methods: selling items door-to-door. Whereas a large percentage of funds raised through such door-to-door sales are used to purchase the products being sold, such as magazines or wrapping paper, all money collected during the Winkler fundraiser will go directly to the schools, said Taylor.
“The goal is having a great speaker that shares a wonderful message about his life, his struggles and his support for education, while keeping all those resources local,” Taylor said.
Reservations are required to receive free child care during the event, which will be provided in the middle school gym.