The Education Foundation raised more than $50,000 to diversify and expand K-8 classroom libraries in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District at its Bloom fundraiser on March 12.

“Nearly 500 people supported Bloom – including guests at the Marriott West Hotel and online donors – and we are grateful for their strong commitment to our schools,” said Amber Kiggens-Leifheit, executive director of the Education Foundation. “As we’ve seen this week with donors’ support to provide meals for students in need while school is out, we are fortunate to live in a community where individuals and businesses are committed to education and to investing in our schools.”

Proceeds from Bloom, the Education Foundation’s inaugural cocktail event, will be shared across the district. 

“We don’t know how long school will be out, but we look forward to building up libraries when schools open,” said Purna Byraiah, chair of the Education Foundation. “Diversifying K-8 classroom libraries is one of the school district’s priorities this year because our student population is becoming more diverse. This is one way we’re supporting the district’s efforts to best serve our increasingly diverse population and to improve student achievement across all demographic groups.”

The event was emceed by NBC 15 news anchor Leigh Mills, whose children attend MCPASD schools. Bloom featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and desserts; performances from Middleton High School’s acapella group, Bristol Street; as well as games and live and silent auctions.

“We thank all the businesses that partnered with us on Bloom by providing sponsorships, in-kind donations and auction donations,” Kiggens-Leifheit said. “We would especially like to recognize CUNA Mutual Group Foundation’s matching gift, as a part of their annual Community Giving Campaign, of $10,000.”