'Taste of' a fundraising feast

"The cafeteria is transformed into a fine dining atmosphere for the night," said McArthur. "We even dim the lights."

The group's sixth annual dining extravaganza represents one of the major fundraisers for the year. Other fundraising events include annual community gatherings and parties, and the sale of engraved bricks in the Senior High School courtyard. The price of each brick ranges from $50 - $200. The foundation is now offering sets of note cards by a local artist depicting each district school building. A box of cards is $5.

The foundation also manages charitable contributions and endowments from generous community members and alumni. Tax-deductible donations can be targeted toward certain areas, within parameters set by the foundation. Funds can be made to honor friends or loved ones, or to support school programs such as sports, music, libraries or technology.

"My favorite grant was to purchase a freezer in the new science wing to store fresh frozen specimens and supplies for biology labs," said McArthur. "The teachers didn't want to deal with the Formaldehyde anymore."

McArthur said she continues to be surprised and inspired by the commitment she sees from community members who come forward to support their cause.

"All we have to do is ask and they say, `yes,'" said McArthur. "These are restaurant owners themselves who come out for hours and serve people. We just can't thank them enough."

The group's work benefits not only the students, but the teachers as well.

"We want kids to have the best supplies, but we also want to make work exciting for teachers," said McArthur. "So many teachers pay out of their own pockets for supplies, and that just can't keep happening."

Reservations should be made early for the Taste of Burnt Hills event " last year it filled the cafeteria to full capacity of 200.

Tickets for the Taste of Burnt Hills are $25 per person, and are available at the door, but reservations are requested ahead of time by calling McArthur at 399-9050. For information on The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Education Foundation or ways to contribute, log on to www.bhblef.org. ""

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