Belinda, Author at Red Hook Education Foundation

Our Chocolate Tasting Fundraiser — Rich & Delicious!

On Friday, March 5, 2021, Red Hook chocolate lovers gathered for RHEF’s “Everything’s Coming Up Chocolate” Winter Fundraiser. A $20 ticket got everyone a Taste Budd’s Chocolate Tasting Kit, a raffle ticket, and a Zoom link for an evening of rich chocolate knowledge imparted virtually by Taste Budd’s owner, chef and chocolatier, Dan Budd. 

We all had fun learning about about chocolate and raised about $2400 for two great causes: our Student in Need Initiative and our Equity Initiative.

Our Student-in-Need Initiative supports programs throughout the year that align with RHEF’s mission of equity for all students, regardless of their ability to pay. Donations provide, among other items, clothing, eye glasses, field trip funds, exam fees, and school supplies for Red Hook students.  These are just a few of the many ways your contribution makes a difference for Red Hook kids.

Our newest initiative is the Equity Initiative. We are fundraising for an exciting new district initiative led by Educational Elements, a hands-on consulting group that will assist RHCSD in creating a more positive and equitable learning environment.

If you weren’t able to join us but would like to DONATE please click here or on the yellow “Donate” button in the upper right or lower left.

Happy Holidays! An update from RHEF…

December 2020

Dear Friends,

We hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe during this time of crisis. As you know, RHEF’s fundraising benefit at Bard’s Spiegeltent, our Tenth Annual, was cancelled this year. We thank you for your generosity over the past nine years to support our school district. And now, more than ever, many students in our community need our continued support. 

So, we are asking you to please consider donating what you can as the year comes to a close.  You can do so by visiting our website at and clicking on the Donate link, or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 2, Red Hook, NY 12571.

Thanks to your generosity in the spring, RHEF was able to provide our school district with $3,000 of gift cards from Hannaford and Walmart to distribute to families facing economic stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are in the process of providing more of the same as the holidays approach.

The Foundation has also continued to fund grants such as the high school’s Mentor program, highlighted at the school board meeting on Nov.18th.

We are continually engaging with the Red Hook Central School District to determine their emerging needs and how RHEF, in partnership with generous donors like you, can best provide support.  Recently we were approached by the district to aide in funding equity work.  We are working with the Red Hook Equity Collective (RHEC) to fundraise for an exciting new initiative led by Educational Elements, a hands-on consulting group that will assist RHCSD in creating a more positive and equitable learning environment.  If you would like to donate specifically to this initiative, please indicate that when you make your donation.

We look forward to a time when we can all come together again and celebrate with our wonderful community.  

You have our enduring thanks.

The Board of the Red Hook Education Foundation

Our 9th Annual Gala at the Spiegeltent – A Big Success!

Thank you to everyone who came out on June 28th, 2019, to the Red Hook Education Foundation’s annual fundraising gala, to celebrate our community, its excellent schools, and the projects we support. Like always, we had exceptional live music (this year featured the amazing Grace Kelly and her band — see more below), delicious food, festive cocktails, and of course dancing — all in the Bard Spiegeltent’s awe-inspiring, gilded tent!

We couldn’t have done it without all our sponsors!

More About the Grace Kelly at the 2019 RHEF Gala…

We were honored to have millennial jazz prodigy Grace Kelly perform at the 2019 Gala. Featured by Vanity Fair as a millennial shaking up the jazz world, Kelly’s state-of-the-art brand of jazz-pop is pushing her to the forefront of the fusion scene. Jon Batiste, bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, has said of her, “Grace Kelly has an electric charisma on-stage that instantly ignites the room.” Indeed, she set the Spiegeltent on fire!

Grace Kelly’s early career featured performances at Barack Obama’s 2016 inauguration and as a soloist with the Boston Pops playing an original composition arranged for the legendary orchestra; she has since then played over 900 shows as bandleader in 35 countries at venues like the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl and for the Montreal, Newport, and Montreux international jazz festivals.

Kelly has won numerous ASCAP and other songwriting awards, including a Grand Prize nod in the 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for the song ‘Feels Like Home.’ 

There are always various ways to support the Gala & RHEF:

Become a Gala Sponsor – and get gala tickets with sponsorship!
Choose your sponsorship level from the pull-down menu below. Gala tickets for each sponsorship level include the following tickets:
• Starring role – 8 tickets and private booth
• Center Stage – 8 tickets
• Spotlight – 6 tickets
• Leading Role – 4 tickets
• Supporting Role – 2 tickets
For any questions about sponsorships for future galas and events, please reach out to us at!

Buy tickets to the Gala!
Don’t miss out on a fabulous community event that’s always a great kick-off to the summer. When our next Gala date is announced, you can buy your tix here:

Donate an Item or Service to the Auction
It’s a great way for local businesses to support the community and attract new loyal customers. Get in touch to discuss!

Just Donate!
You can always send any extra amount you like to us via PayPal using the donate button immediately below — every little bit helps!

Our 2019 WinterFest Raised $2.5K for the Summer Academy!

Thanks to everyone who turned out on a cold winter’s night on Feb 8th, 2019, to support RHEF and all the projects that help Red Hook students soar. And thanks to Hudson Valley Distillers in Clermont for hosting. We enjoyed delicious food, festive cocktails, and the lively music of the amazing T McCann Band! Because of you and your support, we’re able to make important local projects like The Summer Academy happen!

Creative Play at the New Mill Road Outdoor Stage

The Red Hook Education Foundation provided a $12,000 grant toward the construction of an outdoor stage and classroom at Mill Road School. And now the “playground stage” is up and in full use!

Working from the belief that children benefit from creative play, the stage platform invites students to collaborate on improvised skits, dances and other impromptu performances. Within this safe, familiar environment, they can hone performance and public speaking skills. Tiered seating opposite the stage makes performances accessible to all members of the school community.

In addition, the stage is also an “outdoor classroom” for teachers to use when they wish to bring students outside for a particular lesson, or to offer an alternative-learning environment. The space is ideal for outdoor presentations such as those involving animals, drumming or “messy” activities that don’t lend themselves to traditional classrooms.

The stage is located against the tree line separating the playgrounds from the soccer fields behind the school, where the picnic tables are located. A natural arc created by a few birch trees forms the backdrop of the stage.

This project was a true community effort, made possible by the inspiration, drive, sponsorship, expertise, time and resource of the MRS PTA,  Koerner Construction, Kristina Dousharm Architecture, Cindy Kubik and the MRS principals!

RAMPing Up Music in Red Hook

RHEF is pleased to partner with the Red Hook Association of Music Parents (RAMP) to provide financial support and assistance for music department events in Red Hook schools. RHEF provided seed funding in the amount of $1,450 to support the student musicians, teachers, staff, and volunteers who bring music to Red Hook. Funding provided meals for the 50 plus volunteers and staff that helped run the 2017 NYSSMA Solo Festival, held at Red Hook High School on March 28 and 29th. Funding will also provide meals for the 119 RHHS band and chorus members who rehearse for long hours at Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts prior to their Spring Concert on May 19th, as well as providing financial support for an end of year picnic for the hard working musicians.

In addition to supporting the RHCSD music faculty, RAMP is working to engage parents in their children’s music education, and both raise the profile and increase accessibility of music education in the district and the community. RHEF is pleased to partner with RAMP and enhance Red Hook’s excellent music programs throughout the district.


RHEF’s Continued Support of Red Hook’s Robotics Team

Having proven themselves in just a few short years to be worthy of the challenge, the Roboraiders competed against almost 130 teams from more than 10 countries in St. Louis from April 26-29, 2017 at the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship.

In order to make the trip, they needed to raise the money to cover the costs for the trip.  And the Red Hook community stepped up to help them achieve their target of $15,000:

  • RHEF provided a grant of $2,800 to support the team.
  • The Board of Education paid for the team’s $1,000 registration fee for the Championship.
  • Parents, grandparents, friends, local businesses and others made contributions through the Roboraider’s gofundme page.

RHEF has supported the High School Robotics Club early in its formation:

  • In 2012 with funding from the Red Hook Education Foundation and other organizations, the high school Robotics Team  was started and joined the FIRST Tech Challenge Hudson Valley.  The team designed, built, programmed and tested several successful robots, while learning the programming language RobotC and learning basic mechanical engineering techniques for robot design and construction.
  • In 2013, a $1000 mini grant award given by the RHEF was used to purchase additional robotic supplies and equipment and to help fund registration fees for entering competitions.
  • In 2015, RHEF funded the Red Hook Robotics Team with a $1,000 grant to invest in an Android-based technology platform. The new technology provides more real world skills and experience than the current Lego-based platform.

We see the Roboraiders as an example of one of the many programs that makes Red Hook Schools outstanding. We were proud to continue as a leading supporter of the Roboraiders as they took their place at this celebration of excellence — they ranked 30th out of 64 teams from around the world in their division and won the Judges Award (Higher Priorities Award).

Join us in congratulating the Roboraiders for their success at the World Championships — and consider supporting the team with a donation to help their ongoing efforts.

Life, Learning & Language Program

RHEF supported a recent grant request for $1,000 for Life, Learning & Language (LLL), an after school program at Mill Road Elementary School in coordination with Culture Connect. The program brings Bard College and High School students to the elementary school to mentor and work with children on their English language and other academic and social skills, and to help them adapt to and succeed in school. The program began in September 2016 and currently works with approximately twenty students.

New Middle School Science Fair

RHEF is proud to support the new school-wide and multi-school science fair for Linden Avenue Middle School students that encourages scientific discovery and investigation. Students will experiment in an area of science and present their findings to professionals in the community. In the past, students have attended the Science Fair at Bard College the Dutchess Regional Science Fair.

Our Generous Community Gives Back Through the Student in Need Initiative

Thanks and giving…these two words sum up what we feel and believe about you, our generous community, for giving the gift of a Thanksgiving meal to 36 local families.

With your help, the Red Hook Education Foundation’s Student in Need Fund  purchased Hannaford gift cards for 36 families in the Red Hook School District to supplement food backpacks that do not go home with students during holiday periods. Everyone deserves this simple act of sharing the bounty of our community and we are deeply grateful to each of you for helping to make this Thanksgiving a tribute to thanks and giving.

The Student in Need Fund supports programs throughout the year that align with RHEF’s mission of equity for all students, regardless of their ability to pay. Your donation has provided, among other items, clothing, eye glasses, field trip funds, exam fees, and school supplies for Red Hook students. These are just a few of the many ways your contribution makes a difference for Red Hook kids.

As the holiday season approaches, please join RHEF as we work together to meet the needs of students and families at home and in school by making a gift to the Student in Need Fund.