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February 6, 2013

BEF celebrates the new year with annual fundraiser

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

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Former Berkshire Middle School principal Jim Moll will once again serve as auctioneer at this year’s Unabashed Bash.

BIRMINGHAM — Some may say 13 is an unlucky number. But if you ask the Birmingham Education Foundation, 2013 is going to be a year of good fortune.

The BEF will present its 12th annual Unabashed Bash at the Townsend Hotel this Saturday. The fundraiser is the foundation’s signature event, bringing community members together for a night of fun while doing some good for Birmingham students.

According to Wendy Christie, a Birmingham Public Schools parent and volunteer with the BEF, this year’s theme will be “A Year of Good Fortune” to go along with the Chinese New Year Feb. 10. The night will include dinner, an open bar and plenty of entertainment, featuring talented Birmingham Public Schools student performers.

The highlight of the night, said Christie, will be the live and silent auctions featuring items to tempt any interest, from orthodontic packages to an opportunity to be the bat boy at a Detroit Tigers game and a private dinner for six in the penthouse at The Townsend Hotel.

Got plans this weekend? You can still support the Bash from the comfort of your own home. Christie said this year’s fundraiser will feature a new online component, with auction items that will be available to bid on at www.bid dingforgood.com/supportBEF through Feb. 17.

“We’re going to be rolling out new items throughout the two-week period, so there’s always a reason to come back and check out what’s new on the site,” she said.

According to BEF Executive Director Laura Couger, it’s only with the help of generous supporters that the foundation can continue to bring unique educational opportunities to BPS students. Since its inception in 2001, the foundation is credited with providing more than $1.1 million in grants to Birmingham Public Schools.

“Our masterful teachers have found innovative ways to reach our students. The BEF provides grants in support of teachers and administrators who want to offer their students a deeper, more comprehensive experience in a particular subject area,” said Couger in a prepared statement. “We are also dedicated to looking at district-wide initiatives like our multi-year STEM initiative and support of the fine and performing arts.”

The Unabashed Bash will begin at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9. Tickets are $175 per person, though seating is limited. For more information on the Bash or how you can support the BEF, visit www.sup portbef.org. To bid on Bash auction items, visit www.biddingfor good.com/supportBEF.

The Townsend Hotel is located at 100 Townsend St. in downtown Birmingham.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.