Supporting Excellence & Innovation in Our Schools
The Gill-Montague Education Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1996 by the parents and citizens of the towns of Gill and Montague to support our schools. Its goals are to provide programs and resources for the schools that would enrich the educational opportunities available to students, and to encourage advocacy for public education within the community. 

It's Never Easy To Say Goodbye

 This year marked the 20th Anniversary of the GMEF and its rebirth with an Annual Gala -- an event with a variety of performers to span generations to enrich our communities and raise money for Student Enrichment!   For Joyce Phillips, Executive Producer of the Galas and member of the GMEF Board of Directors, this 20 year commitment has been inspiring and rewarding!
 It all began on Wednesday, April 14, 2004, with energy, excitement and a new enthusiasm at the Thomas Memorial Golf & Country Club, when the Gill-Montague Education Fund  opened its’ kick-off meeting with a welcome from Carol Jacobs, President.  The GMEF, established in 1996, had been somewhat inactive in the past few years.  The non-profit organization was launched for the purpose of supporting excellence and innovation in the GMRSD schools.  The new Board of Directors brainstormed ideas on how to meet both of these GMEF goals.   An Annual Gala was the decision to raise money for Student Enrichment.
 On Saturday, April 9, 2005, Carol Jacobs, President of the Gill-Montague Education Fund Board of Directors, welcomed a nearly sold out audience to the Turners Falls High School Theater and the first Gill-Montage Gala with Nick Waynelovich and a family oriented concert.  The Gill-Montague GALA brought something for every generation and every style of music.
 From 2006 through 2024, Joyce Phillips served as the Executive Producer and the GMEF hosted quality performances, featuring a variety of entertainers:   Elisabeth vonTrapp, The Mummers, The Edwards Twins and some of the most amazing tribute artists performing:  Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty, Elvis, John Denver, Union Jack, ABBA, the Eagles & Journey, The Piano Men: Double Bill: Elton John & Billy Joel featuring Anton Doran & the Tampa Bay All Stars.
 On Saturday, April 27th Joyce told the audience that her inspiration came from having the privilege of meeting and working with some of the most remarkable people in our local communities. “It began with local businesses, organizations, and individuals who were willing to take a chance with the GMEF vision, supported us and fulfilled their commitment to us every year.  It was extraordinary to experience underwriters, corporate sponsors, major advertisers, general advertising, tier-giving, and in-kind contributors continually extending their financial support.”
 In addition, Joyce had the pleasure of bringing some of the most amazing performers to the Turners High School Theater. Appearing at their 17 Galas were artists from – Alabama, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Vermont.  Their talent was only exceeded by their generosity (often waiving their transportation and accommodation fees and/or donating a percentage of their souvenir earnings in support of the GMEF), their kindness and collaboration for education.
 The rewards were $127,000 in student enrichment grants, the awarding of 35 scholarships and 11 years of roses for the graduating seniors.  In closing Phillips said, “If as an educator, student, parent, grandparent, patron these have made you smile, brought you joy, or left you with a warm memory the GMEF has met its goal.  The grants, scholarships and roses will continue until the GMEF funding is depleted.  As for me, as the Executive Producer of the Annual Gala, it's never easy to say goodbye, however, this is my final gala.   Thank you.”



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