MEF Fall Adult Social: Hollywood Lights

Last November, my husband and I had a wonderful evening at the Madison Education Foundation (MEF) Fall Adult Social. It was our first year going to this event, and we had so much fun that we bought our tickets to go this year’s “Hollywood Lights” Social soon after the link was posted online.


Some people might not be aware of exactly what the MEF does for the Madison learning community, but anyone who knows a kid or teacher in the district will know some of the amazing projects, experiences, and materials that have been funded by the MEF over the years. That bowl where you keep your spare change that your kid made for you in art class was made with clay funded by the MEF. The school learning garden where your kid planted, then harvested, then actually ate kale (and found out that she like it!)—MEF! That seventh grade trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art that your kid still talks about—MEF! The Buddy Bench your son sat on at recess when he needed a friend to play with—MEF! The visit to the school from your kid’s absolute-all-time-favorite-in-the-whole-entire-world-and-I-can’t-believe-that-I-actually-met-him author—MEF! The portable planetarium event that got your kid hooked on the stars—MEF! See, you know what MEF does! MEF awards teacher-initiated enrichment grants to all five Madison District schools. Their mission is to award grants that help faculty and staff inspire and challenge Madison public school students. They fund great ideas that energize the academic and creative life of students but are above and beyond our school district budget.

One of the major fundraising events for the MEF is the Fall Adult Gala. (Another event is the 5K in May, which I ran and wrote about here.) Last year, the social’s theme was “around the world.” The greeters at the check-in desk donned captain’s caps and wished us “bon voyage” as we headed up to the second floor that was tastefully decorated in travel posters. A Junior School orchestra played beautifully as we mingled (I’ve heard that student-led music will be at this year’s event, too), noshed on hors d’oeuvres, sipped our wine, bought tickets for the 50/50 raffle, and perused the amazing tricky tray basket raffle prizes. Last year, we ended up winning one of them—the Take Out Basket, which had about 10 gift cards to local restaurants, including Urban Fire, Begum Palace, Yuki Hana, Italian Village, and LaRosa Chicken. Our family had so much trying some new restaurants over the next several weeks (and also visiting our usual favorites)!


We also did the wine pull. In the weeks leading up to the Social, people are asked to donate a bottle of wine (at least $25). The organizers then decoratively cover all the bottles. At the Social, you can pay to pick a number, and that determines which wine you will go home with. Many people go far above the $25 minimum price for the bottle they donate, so you are guaranteed to go home with something you will enjoy! I know that we’ll be doing the wine pull again this year! (Specific details on where to donate, etc. for the 2018 Social will be determined soon.)   

This year, the theme is Hollywood Lights, and the Social takes place on November 2, 2018, from 7:30-11pm at the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown. In addition to the raffles and wine pull, there will be hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine, and live music from Madison’s local band, What’s What. (For CAS families, yes, that is the band with Mr. Shugrue, the guidance counselor, and Mrs. Duffy’s husband.)

Purchase tickets by 10/29/18 by visiting Tickets are $85 per person. At the site, you can also buy tricky tray basket raffle tickets, 50/50 raffle tickets, view and bid on silent auction items, learn how to be a sponsor, and/or make a donation. To keep on top of all the details you need about the Social, be sure to follow the MEF Facebook page Last year, they posted some really cute home-made videos of MEF members preparing for the event. It was so fun to see fellow district parents I knew, and it helped me get even more excited about the evening. It also kept me informed of all the great things MEF does throughout the year. Hope to see you at the Social on November 2!

For more information on the Madison Education Foundation, visit

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