Fundraiser this weekend for Cumberland-N. Yarmouth schools

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CUMBERLAND — Foundation 51, an organization that raises money to support initiatives in School Administrative District 51, will hold its 14th annual fundraiser on Saturday, April 6.

The benefit auction will be held at Ocean Gateway in Portland at 5:30 p.m. The event includes hors d’oeuvres, music by the Greely Jazz Combos, and a silent auction, with emcee Bill Green of WCSH. Auctioneer Tom Saturley will run a live auction, and the festivities will include the announcement of a grant recognition award.

Log onto to order tickets online, or to obtain a form that allows tickets to be ordered by mail. The auction’s proceeds go toward grants to benefit SAD 51 students of all grades.

Foundation 51 was formed in 1998 to direct “private charitable resources toward the enrichment of educational opportunities for students in MSAD 51,” according to the volunteer organization’s website.

So far the group has raised more than $420,000 for grants to district schools, in areas including multilingual literacy, nutrition, African drumming and the use of electronic books for struggling readers.

“We try to fund … things that are innovative for our school district, that supplement the curriculum,” Linda Isaacson, Foundation 51 president, said last week.

The organization generally awards about $30,000 a year in grants, Isaacson said.

“That’s why we do this auction,” she explained. “Because we need to raise $30,000 or $40,000 a year.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.