Some 565 La Cañada school boosters of all varieties — parents, teachers, administrators, area business people and friends — donned formal attire Saturday and attended the annual Spring Gala organized by the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation.
Honored with this year's Spirit of Outstanding Service was Mayor Steve Del Guercio, who is completing his final term on the City Council this spring.
The fundraiser, held at the Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena, netted more than $400,000 in support of the public schools, according to Deborah Weirick, the foundation's executive director.
This year's committee chose a red-carpet theme, with one aspect of old Hollywood glamour carried out by La Cañada High School students toting cameras and acting as the evening's “paparazzi.”
“The evening had a nice feel, a nice flow,” Weirick said, adding that she's noticed community members, particularly the school families, are responding to the foundation's call to action, to make a commitment to donate at least $2,500 annually for the betterment of the schools.
A special auction raised $100,000 that will be earmarked for the installation of iPad stations on the district's campuses, one per grade level at the elementary schools and several at LCHS for the 7-8 and 9-12 programs there, according to Weirick.
The auction highlight turned out to be a single parking place on the La Cañada High School campus for a school year. This drew so much interest and so many competing bids that school officials in attendance approved auctioning off three of them, garnering $3,000 per space. “We brought in $9,000 on that one auction item,” Weirick said. “It was unbelievable.”