Evesham casino night/wine tasting fundraiser benefits students

EVESHAM—The Evesham Education Foundation held its first annual wine tasting and casino night fundraiser, “Wine, Dine and Win” recently at Indian Spring Country Club in Marlton.

“We have done a number of wine tastings (in the past),” said EEF President John Cipollone. “We wanted to continue doing that but change it up a bit. We are not aware of anyone that has done an event like this one. It’s a little bit of both (wine tasting and casino night).”

The EEF used to hold annual wine tasting fundraisers up until two years ago when issues came up with the wine caterer. The wine tastings, along with the EEF’s annual spring golf outings, were major fundraisers for the all volunteer organization which fully funds two programs in the district’s schools. Cipollone said the wine tastings generated an average of $25,000 to $30,000, about the same as the golf outings. The lack of those funds has kept the EEF from committing to fund the Metamorphosis Program for the current school year, a program it had just begun funding last year.

“We have had to use our resources to continue funding the programs (we support),” Cipollone said. “We can’t continue to spend down our resources. Hopefully, with the success of this event, we can continue funding the Metamorphosis Program.”

The EEF was founded in 1995 by parents and business leaders with the intention to, according to its website, “enhance and enrich the academic experience for all Evesham Township Schools students.” It contributes all profits from fundraising events to district programs, such as Coordinated Arts Program for Primary Students (CAPPS), a four-week summer program for pre-kindergarten students who may need more social and academic preparation prior to starting kindergarten. The EEF also funds the Genesis Counseling Program for middle school studdents, giving them the opportunity to meet with a school counselor during lunch in a private or group setting. Last year, the EEF took on funding for the Metamorphosis Program. This summer program is for students who just finished sixth grade and may need social or development enrichment prior to entering seventh grade.

Cipollone said planning the wine tasting/casino night was made easier with the assistance of Bill Brandt of Traino’s Wine and Spirits in Marlton.

“He has been very generous,” Cipollone said.

“He has helped us out in the past, and when I approached him late last year, he got behind it and enabled us to move forward.” Brandt was responsible for getting the wine vendors on board. “Having a partner that is helping to bring in the wine purveyors is critical.” Cipollone points out that samples of bourbon, scotch and specialty beers will also be available.

For more information visit, www.eveshameducationfoundation.org.


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