|By Chris Maza|
LONGMEADOW – The Longmeadow Educational Excellence Foundation (LEEF) is making some changes to its annual gala event.
The 12th annual formal dinner dance that serves as the primary fundraiser for the organization that offers grants for supplemental programs and supplies for Longmeadow Public Schools, will take place at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“The gala has always been the signature fundraiser for LEEF,” Jen Cosgrove, LEEF gala co-chair said. “But anytime you’re doing anything for 12 years, there are going to be some things that can be improved or updated. One of the things we’re really excited about is the new venue.”
The gala is scheduled for Nov. 2 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets are on sale at www.goleef.org. Tickets purchased by Sept. 30 are $70 and $75 thereafter.
Max Catering made the use of the Basketball Hall of Fame possible by acting as a sponsor and donating the food, which will include hors d’oeuvres, dinner stations and desserts.
This year’s live auction, run by Paul Sheer, president of Aaron Posnik & Co. Auctioneers, will include tickets for getaways to Paris, Florida, Vermont, Maine, New York and Boston as well as professional sporting events featuring each of New England’s four major sports teams. A catered Super Bowl Party for 25 or catered barbeque for 12 and a party bus tour of Bright Nights are also among the signature items.
Cosgrove added that LEEF was grateful for the generous donations, which included more than 150 items given by business or families for the auction in addition to financial backing from more than 40 local businesses.
A string quartet of student musicians from the high school will perform as guests arrive, followed by deejayed music provided by Marx Entertainment.
LEEF is approaching the $1 million mark in grants awarded since its founding in 2001.
In 2013, the foundation awarded $103,500 in grants, including a $20,000 grant for a laptop cart for Center School and an $18,959 grant for stereoscopes for the Longmeadow High School Science Department.
“We think we’ll be able to surpass the $1 million mark this year,” Cosgrove said.
Those who wish to donate or sponsor the gala should contact Cosgrove at 567-2056 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Jen Santos, gala co-chair, at 364-6006 or email@example.com.
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