, Salem, MA


April 25, 2014

Column: 'Hats Off' to education in Salem

The Salem Education Foundation is hosting its second annual Hats Off to Education! celebration on May 9 and 10. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the foundation, which began as a grant-funding organization led by local community members and parents. To date, SEF has raised more than $500,000 for teachers and students.

This year’s gala and auction fundraiser will be held Friday, May 9, from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Hawthorne Hotel, hosted by Goldberg Properties and Hawthorne Hotel. This hat-themed party will feature a casino night. Attendees will have the option to play blackjack, roulette, poker and craps, and all of the proceeds will benefit the students in the Salem public schools. The evening will include a live auction, silent auction, $2,500 reverse raffle and a “Wall of Wine.” Guests will be entertained with live music by Machine 475 and a surprise guest. They can also compete in a hat competition and memorialize the night in the casino-themed photo booth. Like last year, SEF will make a direct bid during the live auction to support Fund-A-Need, SEF’s fund dedicated to supporting immediate needs of students in the Salem public schools. There are many ways to bid, win, fund-a-need and have fun while supporting teachers, students and public schools in Salem. Check out the online auction starting April 28 at

Please visit to purchase your gala ticket. Individual tickets are $50 or two for $85. Salem public school staff and faculty with valid ID can get in free if they are registered by April 29; they may also purchase tickets after April 29 for a reduced rate of $35. Wear creative cocktail attire and don your most elaborate hat!

On May 10, all of Salem goes to school from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. right in downtown on Education Day. This completely free, family-friendly event transforms downtown Salem into a virtual classroom, with opportunities to engage in physical education, art, music, STEM, bilingual and ELA activities offered through workshops run by local partners and businesses. Come down to Old Town Hall May 10 to register and pick up a schedule of events.

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