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MUEF Rolls Out the Second Phase of 2012-13 Community Appeal

The Mendon Upton Education Foundation (MUEF) is looking towards the future with the rollout of the second phase of their 2012/2013 Community Appeal Campaign. Back in October, MUEF announced that they were changing direction in the area of fundraising and began a community appeal campaign. Donation requests were sent via social media, fliers, and signs in strategic areas in Mendon and Upton in the hopes of raising $50,000 to support "five key areas" that align with the district's new Strategic Plan. Kim Spangenberg, Co-President of the Mendon Upton Education Foundation (MUEF) announced during the October School Committee Meeting that the money they raised from the campaign would be used to "support innovation and excellence in our schools," including STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, technology in the classrooms, world languages and cultural proficiency, fine and performing arts, and positive choices/pro-social behavior education.

To date, the campaign has raised approximately $11,000 but Spangenberg said that they are still "hopeful" that they will be able to reach their fundraising goal. "Donations are still coming in, even some very large ones," she said. "It is very encouraging."

The new fundraiser was a break from the traditional way MUEF has raised money in the past. For the past few years, MUEF has organized large events such as the Rock and Roll fundraiser, where money was raised during an evening event of silent auctions and donations. "We took a new approach because we didn't think that was going to be sustainable long term," said Spangenberg.

Spangenberg said that the second phase of the campaign will again go out and solicit donations from the district's families through social media, email and fliers; but will also include a community partnership aspect. Spangenberg said that they will be contacting area businesses for sponsorship through a community spotlight partnership. "The idea behind the community partnership program is that we are encouraging people to do business locally andnat the same time, local businesses can support MUEF and our schools," she said. Spangenberg said that they already have one local business that they are partnering with. "Hair Affair of Upton has offered to donate half of all proceeds for new clients for all of 2013," she said. Spangenberg said that this new partnership program can be a win-win for both the businesses and MUEF. "We hope to work with many different businesses within the two communities to develop partnership models," she said.

Both Spangenberg and Superintendent Dr. Joseph Maruszczak said that the money raised by MUEF will be used as an "investment in the district's future." "MUEF has closely aligned itself with the district's strategic priorities," said Maruszczak. "Any type of donation, even if it is just a donation of $20, is a donation into the future," he said. MUEF's first direction will be to enlist the help of a grant writer to apply for major grants in the five areas they outlined including STEM initiatives and technology in the classroom. "To support MUEF - is an investment in where the district is going," said Spangenberg. "Rather than take all of the money and use it for something immediate, we would like to take the money and use it as an investment to draw more money into the district and support bigger initiatives in these areas."

Spangenberg said that they will be rolling out the second phase of the campaign in the next few weeks. "We really want to thank everyone who has already contributed to our campaign. We appreciate every donation that has come in, it will make a difference," she said. Additional information about MUEF and the Community Appeal Campaign can be found on their website at www.muedfoundation.org.




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