Local Parents Filling Gap Left by State Budget Cuts with Local Fundraiser

The annual Maple Dale-Indian Hill Bash has raised more than $200,000 in it's 11-year history, helping aid teachers like Kim Mir in buying classroom supplies that have truly "enhanced student learning."

As school district funding is slashed, money for everyday classroom supplies continually comes directly from teacher pockets. But in the , parents are banding together for their largest fundraiser of the year, the MDIH Bash, which gives money back to teachers for classroom supplies, helps fund student field trips and more. 

"The money goes directly to support our teachers, students and community," MDIH Foundation President Darren Fisher said. "But the bigger things is it’s a fundraiser for our parents to connect and get to meet the leadership in the school, other parents who are supporting the school, and just a night for adults to hang out and have a good time."

But beyond an outlet for parents to connect, it's a way to support the local MDIH schools. Kim Mir is a five-year-old kindergarten teacher at  and with the money she's received from the Bash over her last 18 years of teaching, she's been able to purchase a sharing rug for children to gather on, a full classroom library, a variety of Big Books for shared reading, a puppet tree for literacy puppets, language arts manipulatives for literacy stations, and math manipulatives for math learning games.

"By being given these classroom materials our students have had the chance to use developmentally appropriate materials that enhance their learning, many of which we would not have been able to purchase if it weren't for the Bash and its donations to teachers," Mir said. 

This year's Bash will be on Saturday and features a Cinco de Mayo theme at the Radisson North Shore, 7065 N. Port Washington Rd. Events kick off at 7 p.m. online, advance tickets are no longer available, but you can still get them at the door. There will be margaritas, a dinner, live and silent auction and a DJ. Many local groups and businesses have been donating items for the auction and some

The net income from the Bash has more than doubled since 2006. Take a look at the breakdown per year that's going right back to supporting the district's students and teachers:

Net Income 2011 $30,100 2010 $25,200 2009 $26,700 2008 $23,000 2007 $24,000 2006 $14,500

Larger than a great school, it's a great community

Dirk Stallmann is on the planning committee for the Bash and is also a parent in the district. He said this fundraiser is really a clear display of the strength of the district. 

"The fact is, it takes a great school, but it takes a great parent group to be very, very active in those schools and it just reinforces why we’re here, why we moved here," Stallmann said. "This is a fantastic district for our kids and it shows. We all have lives, we’re not getting paid for this. This is pure volunteer stuff."

Jaime Druck is another parent in the district who is also on the committee. She said many people she's met and worked with in the area say the MDIH district is described as a public school with a private school feel. 

"Because of the size of the district, because of the involvement of the families and because of the excellent academics and extra curricular activities, it really is that feel," she said.  

And while this event is organized by resident's whose children attend the MDIH schools, it certainly is not only for those families. Fisher said there's more than enough fun for all. 

"Everyone is welcome to attend," Fisher said. "We have margaritas for everybody!"


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