By Donald Wittkowski
Sorry, kids. This is one Friday night that you’ll have to stay at home and take care of the house and dog while mom and dad are out having fun.
But don’t worry. They’ll be having a good time for your benefit.
The Ocean City Education Foundation is hosting a “Benefit by the Beach” wine tasting event Friday night at the Flanders Hotel to raise money for local schools.
Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased through the foundation’s website at www.ocnjef.com or by calling (609) 402-5190.
Organizers say the fundraiser, from 6-10 p.m., promises to be an enjoyable night of socializing for adults. Since wine, beer and liquor will be served, no one under 21 will be allowed to attend. Food will include appetizers.
“We wanted to put something together for a nice night out,” said Tricia Ciliberto, president of the Education Foundation. “We wanted something casual and fun.”
Ciliberto noted that the goal Friday night is to match or exceed the approximately $7,000 raised last year during a similar event.
The Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises money for school programs and projects that are not covered by the Ocean City school district’s regular budget.
Grant money is awarded by a foundation committee based on applications submitted by teachers at the city’s primary, intermediate and high schools. The latest batch of grants will be awarded during a March 17 ceremony at Ocean City High School, Ciliberto said.
Last year, the foundation’s largesse was spread throughout the Ocean City schools. One grant helped to buy kitchen utensils and a mixer for a cooking class at the high school, while another was used to purchase a pottery wheel for the art class at the intermediate school.
Another grant helped to buy supplies for a knitting class at the primary school that allows students to make blankets for the Ocean City Humane Society. One other grant went for a “cerebral therapy cycle” that promotes cognitive thinking for primary school students, Ciliberto said.
At Friday’s fundraiser, organizers will auction off an array of gifts donated by local businesses and other members of the community.
“I think it’s so rewarding to see just how generous our community is,” Ciliberto said.
A paddleboard will be one of the big prizes up for auction. One winning bidder will have the choice of a 30-minute sightseeing ride in a historic biplane or having their business featured in an advertising banner flown over Ocean City’s beaches.
Another highly coveted prize will be four VIP seats at the high school graduation. Other items scheduled for auction are gift certificates, gift baskets and amusement ride tickets.