Meet the Match party

(courtesy Sarah McEneany) The Shorewood School District benefit party ran from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., and drew a wide variety of people, including teachers, parents and other members of the community.
(courtesy Sarah McEneany) The Shorewood School District benefit party ran from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., and drew a wide variety of people, including teachers, parents and other members of the community.

Bob Smith and Sarah McEneany hosted a benefit campaign on September 19 for Shorewood School District’s Meet the Match. The benefit comes after an anonymous donor gave $500,000 to be put towards Shorewood’s Expeditionary Learning and STEM-themed project-based learning for students K-12. The donation specifies that the district cannot keep the money unless they match the principle by December 31, 2015.

Bryan Davis, superintendent, announced during the benefit that as of that morning, about $294,000 had been raised. As the night went on, attendees were invited to contribute donations in boxes set out on tables and an estimated $56,000 was put towards the cause by the end of the evening.

(courtesy Sarah McEneany) The award-winning Milwaukee-based band Tweed Funk, including JD Optekar, Atwater parent, performed live on the back porch of the Smith/McEneany family’s backyard. The gig was purchased in a SEED fundraiser. The patio was set up as a dance floor, and at several times during the night, Shorewood parents could be seen dusting off their dance moves.
(courtesy Sarah McEneany) The award-winning Milwaukee-based band Tweed Funk, including JD Optekar, Atwater parent, performed live on the back porch of the Smith/McEneany family’s backyard. The gig was purchased in a SEED fundraiser. The patio was set up as a dance floor, and at several times during the night, Shorewood parents could be seen dusting off their dance moves.

“Over the summer … I was really working on getting funding from sources outside of our community, talking to companies, other foundations, alumni: doing my best on my own through the district. We were able to raise about $120,000 [by] the end of the summer. Now we’re getting more into the community fundraising phase of the campaign,” said Ted Knight, the advancement director.

Shorewood School District now has only about $150,000 left to raise before December 31.

The fundraising is expected to continue. According to Melissa Nelsen, president of SEED, all donations made to the foundation this year, unless specified otherwise by donors, are going to the Meet the Match program.

(courtesy Sarah McEneany) Attendees of the event gathered under the bright lights to intermingle, chat and donate to Meet the Match. Red donation boxes can be seen at tables.
(courtesy Sarah McEneany) Attendees of the event gathered under the bright lights to intermingle, chat and donate to Meet the Match. Red donation boxes can be seen at tables.

“I think we’ll meet the match,” Nelsen said.

According to Davis, it is Knight’s goal to raise the rest of the money before December 24, so that he can spend Christmas with his family.

by Janneke Bannink

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