Whether or not you're feeling lucky, you can help make sure the Birmingham Education Foundation has a "year of good fortune" this weekend during the 12th annual Unabashed Bash.
The annual event is the biggest fundraiser for the Birmingham Education Foundation (BEF), a nonprofit that raises money for various projects throughout the Birmingham Public School district.
This year's Bash pays homage to the Chinese New Year and is themed "A Year of Good Fortune." The evening, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Townsend Hotel, will feature dinner, an open bar, live and silent auctions and performances from the Groves High School orchestra and the Seaholm High School theater troupe.
According to Bash coordinator Wendy Christie, last year's Bash raised $90,000 for Birmingham teachers and students.
Established in 2001, the BEF has awarded more than $1.1 million in grants to schools within the Birmingham Public School district.
Previous grants have paid for the installation of Promethean boards in high school math classrooms, purchased iPads for classrooms across the district and funded a NASA Day, during which students had the chance to have a Skype conversation with astronaut Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger.
In total, BEF Executive Director Laura Couger said the BEF gave $150,000 back to students in 2012, calling it the nonprofit's "most successful year ever." This year, the BEF is helping to sponsor Expedition 2013: Medicine That Matters.
"Our masterful teachers have found innovative ways to reach our students," Couger said in a recent press release. "The BEF provides grants in support of teachers and administrators who want to offer their students a deeper, more comprehensive experience in a particular subject area."
"We are also dedicated to looking at district-wide initiatives like our multi-year STEM initiative and support of the fine and performing arts," she added.
This year, Bash attendees are able to give back in more ways than simply buying a ticket. The evening will feature a live and silent auction with more than one tempting prize up for grabs. Winners could take home anything from a private dinner for six in one of the Townsend Hotel's private penthouses, to the chance to be the bat boy (or girl) at a Detroit Tigers game.
New in 2013 is a chance to give back even if you can't make it to the Bash. The BEF has opened an online auction at www.biddingforgood.com/supportBEF, which will run through Feb. 17.
Prizes for the online auction range from a birthday party package at The Robot Garage worth nearly $400, to a complete fall registration package from Birmingham's youth football and cheerleading league, the Birmingham Patriots. The winner of that prize, worth more than $1,000, will receive a year's registration for one child (football or cheer at any level), a Varsity Shop Spirit Package as well as more Patriots gear for the whole family.
According to Christie, tickets are still available for the Bash. Tickets are $175 per person, or $350 per couple. To purchase tickets, visit the BEF's website.