BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Bridgewater-Raritan Education Foundation held its annual Taste of BR fundraiser Oct. 14 to raise funds for the organization that provides grants to teachers, and scholarships for students, in the district.

“The Ed Foundation is a nonprofit that raises funds for grants for teachers that are not paid for by the district,” said foundation chairman James Franco. “We count on your support and your donations.”

The Taste of BR event was held at the Bridgewater Manor, and featured local food vendors serving up their best offerings, including Bridgewater Beer Wine Liquor Warehouse, Booker & Zinc, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chef Jeff, Gabriel’s Fountain, Martinsville Deli and 22 West Tap & Grill. Guests had the chance to enjoy the food, while also taking part in a silent auction, raffle and more.

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“We raised significant necessary funds from the event,” said Stacey Kimmins, a trustee of the foundation and organizer of the event. “I think the true success of the event is the awareness raised for the Education Foundation, and how essential our mission is to the district. The event connected so many community and district folks, and planted some nice seeds for future growth and collaboration together.”

Franco said the foundation, this year, funded more than $21,000 for 35 grants for teachers in the district.

Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School teacher Kristy Shurina has been a recipient of four grants from the foundation over the years, and she praised the work the foundation does.

“I love the Education Foundation,” she said.

Shurina spoke of the projects she has done with her students with the grants, including getting Kindles for her classroom; having her students write their own stories, have them edited by high school students and then get them published; and writing picture books for younger children.

In addition, Shurina said, she does a program for eighth graders to create their own poetry anthology.

“I did this project in the classroom, and then the whole eighth grade did it,” she said. “So an Education Foundation grant became a whole school program.”

Superintendent Russell Lazovick thanked the foundation for the work it does.

“I have been blown away every year,” he said. “The money you donate goes directly into the classrooms, and some programs we take for granted came about because of something the Education Foundation gave.”

Franco also announced that the foundation will be continuing the Robert Feder Scholarship, which is given to a graduating student pursuing an education in the arts.

In addition, Franco said, the foundation is announcing a new scholarship for 2020, for a Bridgewater-Raritan High School senior who is planning to attend Raritan Valley Community College.

Kimmins said the grant will further nurture the foundation’s connection with the community college that is a huge and under-utilized asset to the community.

For more information on the foundation, visit edfoundbr.org.