The Education Fund’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and Charity Auction: The Art of Found Objects

Last Friday Foodies On The Fly attended The Education Fund’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and Charity Auction: The Art of Found Objects at the beautiful Moore Building in the Miami Design District.

The Education Fund’s mission is to design and implement initiatives to improve our schools and bring excellence to public education in Miami-Dade. They operate up to a dozen initiatives at any given time to increase student achievement and have raised over $38 million for public schools. These funds have benefitted over 390 schools, 22,000 teachers, and 340,000 students in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Many of the pieces up for bid at The Art of Found Objects Charity Art Auction were made from materials found in The Education Fund’s Ocean Bank Center for Educational Materials. This warehouse and distribution program collects surplus inventory and supplies from local businesses and makes them available gratis to the teachers and students of Miami-Dade Public Schools. Each item is one-of-a-kind, created and donated by the teachers, students and professional artists in the community. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the student and teacher pieces directly benefit the visual arts programs in our public schools.

There were almost 400 silent auction items, including found art pieces (check out our favorites here) and luxury items such as hotel getaways, restaurant gift certificates, massages, memberships and more. The first and second floor of the Moore building was filled with over 500 revelers who bid up until the last second to win these coveted items. There was a little over 2 hours to compete for items on the second floor and an hour and a half for the bottom floor. In the name of charity some items outbid the valued price while others, who didn’t wish to wait, simply committed to “OWN IT” for a fixed price. (Note: The Foodies on the Fly girls placed our bids on two beautiful pieces by Hiroshima Soto, a Teacher at Edison Park Elementary, but were outbid.) The auction turned out to be a big success and a Golin Harris representative confirmed that the event raised over $100,000. 

The evening also honored The Education Fund’s Public School Alumni Achievement Awards to 25 community leaders who graduated from Miami-Dade public schools, including the President & CEO if The Children’s Trust, Modesto Abety, Santana Moss, Washington Redskins All-Pro Wide Receiver, and Congresswomen, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Frederica Wilson of the United States House of Representatives, among others.

It wouldn’t be a Foodies on the Fly review without a nod to the food at the event, which was outstanding.  As we reported back in April, the menu presented at the Art of Found Objects event was a collaboration between the Robert Morgan Educational Center’s culinary arts students, helmed by Chef Paul Galadza and a handful of Miami’s own top chefs including: Chef Michelle Bernstein of Michy’s, Chef Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, and Cindy Hutson of Ortanique on the Mile. Each of the famed chefs spent a day with the students at the Robert Morgan Educational Center and taught them a few of their recipes which were then beautifully translated at the event by the talented culinary arts students. Whole Foods generously sponsored all the edible delights and serving items needed to ensure that the event was only prepared with the finest quality ingredients. The epicurean feast included: Island Curried Crab Cakes, (spicy, bold, and very tasty)  Shrimp Tiradita (perfectly cooked with a creamy garlic infused sauce- recipe by Chef Bernstein here), Bacon Wrapped Dates with Gorgonzola (crispy bacon, paired with savory cheese and a sweet chewy date- these were our favorite!), St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs (sauced and smoked to perfection) and more (over 20 options in total) in addition to petit fours and cake pops at the end. If the evening was any indication these students are going to have a bright future in the culinary world. Who knows what Miami hotspots they might be opening up in their future?

The event was a resounding success, filled with upbeat music, good food and beverages (provided by Bacardi & Schnebly Redland’s Winery), and aisles and aisles of unique pieces of art, perfect for your home or office. We will be sure to mark our calendars for next year, and sharpen our bidding pencils.

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