The Westfield Foundation for Education is back.

The nonprofit, which came close to closing down during the COVID-19 pandemic, has a new director, new board, and a Pocketbook Bingo fundraiser planned for this October.

WFE Director Samantha Liptak had seen a Facebook post detailing how the board’s members were leaving due to different reasons, such as children or a new job. At the time she was vice president of the PTO for Highland Elementary School and seeking a new role.

“I knew I wasn’t doing a third year” at Highland, she said. “I reached out to them [WFE] and agreed to get it going.”

Liptak said that the foundation had done no fundraising during the pandemic, and plans are in place for the return of the popular Pocketbook Bingo. She said it brings in between $10,000 and $14,000, roughly 90% of what the foundation gets each year.

But in order for this to happen, she also needed a new board, which is still a work in progress. Liptak reached out to other members of the PTO and asked them to join, saying the schedule was less intense and since their children were still in elementary school, they could remain on for years as the kids aged up.

Liptak gives a lot of credit to the former board members, whom she met with to learn about the foundation and what it does. She said the transition was seamless and due to Laura Taylor and the previous board’s commitment.

“I was like a sponge — I learned a lot from them,” she said.

At the last Pocketbook Bingo, more than 350 people attended, and Liptak hopes to see an even higher attendance this year. This year’s will be the seventh one held, taking place on Oct. 20 at Shaker Farms Country Club. Each ticket includes 10 games of bingo, and prizes will be a variety of designer handbags (minimum one winner per game), along with designer bling. There will also be a raffle, door prizes, cash bar, and light snacks provided.

Over the summer and early fall, Liptak and other board members will seek out sponsors to join Westfield Gas & Electric in supporting the event.

The mission of the foundation is to inspire the students of Westfield through funding of innovative education and enrichment opportunities that extend beyond the resources of the city, according to its web site. Liptak hopes to continue this in the future, with hands-on experiences and activities. She hopes to bring innovative programs to the schools and provide unique opportunities.

“It’s always for the benefit of the kids and the community,” she said. “Getting them to experience things they wouldn’t do in an ordinary school day.”

For more information, visit or follow the foundation on Facebook at People or businesses interested in donations or sponsorship can reach the foundation at