Golf outing raises money for education foundation

AREF wants activeboards in all Andover classooms

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  • Andover Regional Education Foundation Treasurer and Vice President Bob and Patti Hanneman greet dinner attendees at the foundation's golf outing, held Tuesday May 22, 2018 at Farmstead Golf and Country Club in Lafayette. Photos by Mandy Coriston

  • A wet course greeted golfers at Farmstead Golf and Country Club Tuesday May 22nd, 2018, for the Andover Regional Education Foundation Golf Outing. 48 golfers braved the weather to raise funds for the organization.

  • Asampling of the dozens of Tricky Tray prizes donated by local businesses for the Andover Regional Education Foundation Golf Outing

By Mandy Coriston

— The Andover Regional Education Foundation (AREF) held a golf outing Tuesday, May 22 at Farmstead Golf and Country Club in Lafayette to raise money to support its mission to augment educational supplies and experiences for students in the Andover Regional School District.

The foundation, formed in 1997, is a volunteer, non-profit organization that provides materials and funding for activities which might not otherwise be available due to school budget limitations. Foundation President Jill Nicholas credited Jeff and Tracy Williams, owners of Village Sweets candy shop, with being a driving force behind organizing and promoting the event. The foundation has not had a golf outing in ten years, but Nicholas said, “Jeff was key in making this happen.”

48 players teed off in a best ball shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. to take on the well-manicured course. Long Pond School principal Brian Fleming, who was among the golfers, said, “It was wet and chilly, but a lot of fun!”

Brothers Tommy and Buddy Hirrell, who are friends and former colleagues of Jeff Williams, came from New York to show their support. Tommy said, “The course was challenging, and it was a good outing despite the weather.” Buddy agreed, saying, “We’ll definitely come play this course again, and it was way better to play in the rain instead of working in it!” The winning foursome was made up of local golfers Dustin Collier, Bob Youngs, Steve Walloga and Walter Brandt.

AREF Vice President Patti Hannemann outlined some of the items the foundation has been able to provide for the schools, including activeboards in classrooms at both the Long Pond School and Florence M. Burd Elementary, and initiating the Safety Town program for incoming kindergartners to the district. Activeboards are interactive touchscreen whiteboards which teachers can program using software. Treasurer Bob Hannemann said, “We want to continue to be technology driven, and hope to get activeboards in every classroom.” Teachers seeking supplies can reach out to the foundation with their requests. Patti Hannemann also said, “We have a great working relationship with the Board of Education, the administration, and the PTA. We collaborated to get lockers for the fifth graders at Long Pond, and split the costs between the groups to get it done.”

“We’re grateful for the support of the foundation. They have been wonderful about providing technology in our classrooms, especially the activeboards,” Florence M. Burd principal Cindy Mizelle said. “It’s great to have a community event like this, where everyone can participate, and all the money gets re-invested in the schools.”

Mizelle did not golf but was attending the finale of the event, a prime rib dinner and tricky tray. Long tables lined the red, white, and blue-decorated dining room, loaded with prizes. There was something for every taste, from golf supplies to gift certificates for local restaurants and services.

AREF President Jill Nicholas was thankful for the support of dozens of sponsors who purchased business advertising and donated raffle prizes for the event. She was especially grateful for the assistance of Diane Boffa, who organized the Tricky Tray portion of the event, Beth Wyczynski for handling the marketing materials, and to the schools’ PTAs.

“We’re happy for the community support and for all our sponsors on every level," she said. "It’s important to us to be able to continue the work we do in the schools.”

Nicholas said that AREF is always happy to welcome new members, and Andover residents can get more information by visiting their website, AREF can also be found on Facebook by searching Andover Regional Education Foundation.

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