Oh What a Night at REF’s Film and Food Festival!

By Julianna Meinz

Passion, technology, and positivity were all words chosen by Dean Porter and Forrestdale students as the inspiration for their films, showcased at the Rumson Education Foundation’s Film and Food Festival, on October 14th. So too, did these words reflect the night.

Walking about the Two River Theater’s beautiful front hall, you could tell the event’s organizers—clad in their creative REF t-shirts—were truly infectious in their commitment to improving the quality of Rumson education, as they mingled with guests. This was also a larger community effort: Rumson staple Crazee’s sponsored programs and popular local eateries prepared an elaborate spread, ranging from fresh fruits and cheeses to decadent Italian classics and everything in between. Drink selections were provided by Joel Gott Wines/Allied Beverage Company, Effen Vodka, NJ Beach Badge Vodka, Shore Point Distributors, Hickory Ledges Full Moonshine, Notorious Pink Rose, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Coffee Corral, and Court Liquors. After drinks and small plates, guests moved to the auditorium to watch the student films, including “Compromise,” “Smile,” and “Lemonade.”

Technology was woven into every aspect of the night, as the silent auction took place on smartphones. Some interesting prizes were an Acoustic Tour of the Count Basie Theatre, a limited edition Rumson Bulldogs cornhole set, and a paddle lesson for four at the Rumson Country Club. Guests also experimented with the showcased Google Jamboard, an interactive smart board technology, a part of several major grant requests submitted by students, teachers, and the administration to the Rumson Education Foundation. Past successful grants included a $200k plus state-of-the-art science lab in 2010 and a $500k plus “One-to-One Chromebook Initiative,” providing laptops and other technology in 2014. Fundraisers such as the Film and Food Festival serve to fund similar projects during the grant making period this upcoming February, all aimed at improving and enriching the Rumson School District.

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