The Madison community showed its support for the Madison Education Foundation (MEF) on November 1st during the Foundation’s fourth annual Gala, ‘Fall Fête.’ The Glynallyn Ballroom at The Madison Hotel was filled to capacity with guests and the event raised critical funds to advance the work of MEF.   The Foundation’s mission is to award grants to K-12 teachers in Madison public schools for initiatives that energize the creative and academic lives of students but are above and beyond the school budget.

Along with a 50/50 raffle, a wine pull and a ‘mystery bag’ raffle, the evening showcased a diverse collection of silent auction items donated by local merchants and families. Numerous volunteers were involved in the planning and execution of the evening, led by Gala Co-Chair and MEF Trustee, Phyllis Watson, and Gala Co-Chair, Jennifer Groller. Madison pianist and composer, Jerry Vezza, provided musical entertainment.

“The support from the entire Madison community was tremendous,” says MEF Co-President Mary Schaenen.  “We were delighted with the turnout for this year’s event – our largest yet – and are encouraged by the community’s continued commitment to MEF and the work that we do. The Foundation is currently reviewing 14 grants from Madison teachers as part of its Fall Grant Cycle.  Those grants will be announced mid-December and will enhance the educational experience for students in the Madison public schools,” adds Schaenen.

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Several of MEF’s corporate sponsors were in attendance, including Anthony C. Weagley, President & CEO of Union Center National Bank (UCNB) and Madison High School alumnus, Class of ‘79.  UCNB supports MEF through the Union Center National Bank Enrichment Grant, a $5,000 annual pledge.  “How fortunate the Madison School District students and faculty are to have a pool of such committed and talented volunteers in the Madison Education Foundation. The Fall Fete event was filled with energy. We were delighted to join the festivities and it is an honor for Union Center National Bank to be a part of this community,” says Weagley.

Many of Madison’s teachers and administrators attended the Gala including Madison Junior School Principal, Nicole Sherrin. “MEF gives the Madison Junior School and the district so much support through the curriculum-enriching grants in our classrooms, so it was fantastic to see so many community members coming out to support the MEF.  We are grateful for our partnership with MEF and really enjoyed celebrating this organization at their annual Gala,” says Sherrin.

“MEF’s adult social provides the opportunity for parents, educators and local business people to mingle and socialize, all while supporting education in our schools,” says MEF Trustee and Gala Co-Chair, Phyllis Watson.  “With school budget cuts affecting our district, MEF’s impact in our schools is more critical than ever.  MEF grants allow our fabulous teachers to continue to provide engaging materials, new technology and enriching experiences for our children.”

For more information about MEF and to learn about grants at all five schools, please visit

Save the Date:  MEF’s next event will be the 11th annual Madison 5K Run/Walk/Kids’ Fun Runs on Sunday, May 4, 2014.

Madison Education Foundation

The Madison Education Foundation (MEF) awards grants to K-12 teachers for initiatives that energize the creative and academic lives of students but are above and beyond the school budget. Since its inception in 2003, MEF has awarded more than $650,000 in grants.  MEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations can be mailed to PO Box 1093 Madison NJ  07940 or submitted online. Visit or e-mail for more information.