Raising school funds with power dinner

School district officials joined parents Monday night for SchoolPower’s seventh annual Claes Dinner at the Hotel Laguna.

The event had its first sellout year, and raised more than $23,000 for the organization.

“Claes and Georgia host about 350 people for hors d’oeuvres and champagne in the Rose Garden, then include a three-course dinner with fine wines, and donate every penny of the proceeds to SchoolPower," school board President Betsy Jenkins said.

“Claes covers all the food and wine costs, allowing SchoolPower to keep the ticket price in order to benefit the schoolchildren of Laguna Beach," SchoolPower Public Relations Chairwoman Robin Rounaghi said.


The Andersens plan to continue hosting the event for six more years, until their middle school-aged daughter Katie completes her studies at Laguna Beach High School.

“It is because of this continuing generosity that the school board has chosen Claes Andersen to honor at the Oct. 9 board meeting as the recipient of our volunteer recognition program ‘Spotlight on Excellence’ award," Jenkins said.

“This event truly brings out the best in everyone," Rounaghi said.

“Diane Stevens, local parent and landslide victim, has designed and donated all the printed invitations for this event "” without skipping a beat, even the year when she and her family were left homeless."


This was the second year Hobie and Tuvulu participated.

The generosity of those involved made this a record year, Rounaghi said; it had a wait list in addition to its paid guests.

To date, Claes event contribution totals are at around $125,000 to $140,000.

“There is an especially positive energy at the schools and at the district, and we hope that this will translate into higher parent participation in the SchoolPower Community Campaign "” the cornerstone of SchoolPower fundraising," Rounaghi said.