With prize drawings, hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages, local educators are planning a fun and relaxing evening that will also support local scholarships. The 4th Annual IREA Fundraiser Social will support local students becoming the next generation of teachers. The event is open to the community and will take place on Friday, March 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Indian River Senior Center in Millsboro.

For $10 at the door, attendees will get five raffle tickets and one alcoholic-drink ticket. Guests can enjoy hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks, or buy additional glasses of beer and wine. All guests must be 21 or older.

“It’s a very relaxed kind of afterschool [atmosphere],” said Melissa Abbott, IREA scholarship chair and Sussex Central High School biology teacher. “We’ve got munchies and drinks. People walk around and socialize. It’s a very nice way to start the weekend.”

There will be raffle prize drawings, a silent auction and 50/50 drawing. Prizes include furniture, restaurant gift cards, beer and wine, golf outings, car detailing, gym and yoga certificates, hair and nail salons, food and coffee, home-cooked gourmet pies and more. There will even be a special meat basket of select pork cuts. The animal was raised by the Sussex Central agriculture department.

“It’s a very nice variety, so it’s very easy for somebody to find a couple thing they’re interested in,” Abbott said.

Guests should bring cash or checks for admission and prize tickets. Organizers also thanked all the local businesses and individuals who donated prizes for the event.

The Indian River Education Association (IREA) is the union for Indian River School District (IRSD) teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians and secretaries.

All proceeds from the  event will fund two scholarships: one at each IRSD high school, for a college-bound senior planning to major in education.

“With the rising costs of college, many of our students in the community are unable to afford higher education,” said the organizers. “IREA hopes to help out those students by providing them with the financial tools to do so.”

“We’re supporting our students, we’re investing in our future teachers here, so that’s what it’s all about,” said Abbott. “And it’s a fun way to do it. It’s a win-win situation.”

The IREA has looked to increase scholarship amounts each year. It started at $1,000 and has increased to $1,300. (Scholarship applications are due by April 2, with paperwork available at Indian River and Sussex Central high school guidance departments.)

“This is one way to have fun and directly support graduating seniors,” said union President J.R. Emanuele.

“I attend that very year, and it’s a lot of fun. … It’s a good cause,” said IRSD Superintendent Mark Steele, who joked that he happily spends a lot of money bidding on prizes each year.

The Indian River Senior Center is located at 214 Irons Avenue, a block behind the Millsboro Wawa.

Staff Reporter

Laura Walter is an award-winning reporter on schools, environment, people and history. A graduate of Indian River High School and Washington College, she has rappelled off a building and assisted a magician, and encourages readers to act on local issues.