Scholarship gala has Asian flavor

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

JANESVILLE—Salsa music will blend with Asian flavors in an annual fundraiser coming up Saturday, Nov. 2.

The fourth annual dinner-dance in support of the Janesville Multicultural Teacher Opportunities Scholarship is dubbed the Year of the Dancing Snake Gala.

“Dancing” refers to the return of stimulating Madison salsa band Madisalsa. The snake part refers to the fact that this is the Year of the Snake in the Chinese zodiac.

Organizer Sue Conley noted that Madisalsa has been a mainstay of the annual event. Past events tried to expand the multicultural-ness with themes such as “Salsa and Other Colors.”

“And because of all the hubbub with China going on with the district, we talked about an Asian theme this year, but they also wanted the band,” Conley said.

Madisalsa will provide after-dinner dance music. Pre-dinner music features local musicians with ties to the school district: the Steve Pease Trio, Chris Kohn and Emerald City.

The event also includes a silent auction featuring Badger basketball tickets, Spanish lessons, tennis lessons and a catered Middle Eastern brunch, among other items.

The scholarship program, offered through the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, awards renewable college scholarships to Janesville students of color who are pursuing education careers.

The program is the brainchild of state Sen. Tim Cullen, a former Janesville School Board member.

Recipients agree to apply for teaching positions with the school district after they earn Wisconsin teaching certificates.

The program has placed one recipient/teacher in the district. Six students are expected to be in the program this fall. Two will graduate in December.

Several current scholarship recipients will speak at the benefit.

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