Medford Education Foundation holds its 10th annual Dine Out for Education Night

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Students of the Medford Township Public School System will be pleased to hear that Tuesday, Feb. 9 has been declared a district-wide “homework holiday.” So rejoice kids, and while you’re at it, get the family together for a nice dinner out on mom and dad.

Braddock’s Tavern, Branco’s Pizza, DiLisi’s Pizza, Femmina Italian Grill, Fortune Cookie Chinese Restaurant, Ginger Asian Cuisines, Illiano Cucina Mediterranea, Jasmine Oriental Cuisine, La Bella Pizza, La Campagnola, Medford Bagel Shop, Riviera Pizza, Rustic Grille, Whole Hog Café and Zinc Café will all donate up to 15 percent of the day’s sales to the Medford Education Foundation.

The MEF is an independent, non-profit 501 ©(3) entity comprised of parents, business owners and educators who work to raise money in support of Medford Township Schools.

Since 2004, the foundation has raised more than $500,000 for the benefit of the public schools and students. These funds have been used for things such as mobile laptop laboratories, education grants, technology upgrades and the purchase of independent reading books.

The foundation’s “Dine Out for Education Day” has become a staple in its list of annual fundraisers to go along with its big golf outing, pool party and basketball throwdown.

MEF members Cindy Perr and Jennifer Tredwell have taken the reins of the Dine Out event along with long-time president of the group TommieAnn Gibney.

“TommieAnn has just been a stellar leader. Her heart is in the right place, she puts a focus on doing the right things to make the most of all of our events and tries to increase our income each year,” Tredwell said.

As a mom who has had and currently has kids in the Medford Township Public School System, Tredwell says the foundation is a really great initiative to try to further enhance education.

“It’s fun, it’s rewarding,” she said.

The proud group consists mostly of moms who are volunteering their time while working another job, so they are always looking for more volunteers on the board or ideas regarding ways they can work together with local businesses to raise money.

“We’re really lucky, but there’s always special projects and extra things teachers and staff members would like to do,” Tredwell said.

Being a nonprofit, the foundation offers a grant program open to all of the teachers and nurses to submit anything not being covered within the normal scope of their teaching budget.

Staff members propose their plan and the expenses are covered by the foundation if the grant application is approved.

The foundation attributes much of its success to the local businesses that are repeat participants.

These companies help out year after year and make events like the Dine Out possible.

Tredwell also expressed her appreciation for schools relieving students of their homework duties for the night.

“This will clear up schedules so parents won’t have to worry about homework getting done and will allow for some nice family time,” Tredwell said.

All community members are encouraged to dine out that day at one of the participating restaurants for breakfast, lunch or dinner to help raise funds for school programs.

“We encourage everyone to get out and support a good cause, maybe try a new restaurant, and save on the cooking and clean up!” Tredwell said. “Thanks in advance to all who will participate.”

Be sure to bring the MEF flyer with you that can be downloaded on its website (www.medfordeducationfoundation.org) before you go. Advance reservations are also recommended.