Briefly In Education

Dinner dance raises $330,000 for SchoolPower

SchoolPower hosted its 27th annual dinner dance on March 3, raising a record $330,000 for Laguna Beach schools.

About 300 guests attended the "Fantasy Floral Gala," which SchoolPower president Marcus Skenderian called "an amazing experience of celebration and support for our schools," according to a news release.

The dinner dance is SchoolPower's biggest fundraising event of the year. This year's event included its first-ever car raffle, which raised $50,000.

Laguna parent Dave Leppo won the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle donated by McKenna Volkswagen.

The 2012 Fund-A-Need to raise money for science lab equipment surpassed its goal, with donors and guests pledging $100,000 to the cause in just a few minutes.

Finally, parents Stephen and Chantal Cloobeck announced they would donate an additional $100,000 to SchoolPower.


Foundation grants $5,000 to LBHS drama

The Laguna Beach High School drama program has received a $5,000 grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation.

"We are incredibly blessed to be recipients of this 2012 Foundation Grant," LBHS drama director Mark Dressler said in a statement. "The generosity and unwavering support of the Festival of Arts Foundation makes it possible for us to achieve artistic excellence."

The money will be used to underwrite costume- and set-related expenses for the drama program's current musical production, "The Sound of Music," which runs through April 1.

"When we see the tragedy of program cuts in other schools, we realize how fortunate we are to have such a supportive and artistic community that understands the importance of theater, music and art in the public schools," Dressler added.

The Festival of Arts Foundation was established in 1989 and provides help for local artists and nonprofit arts organizations in Laguna Beach.


Club prepares its spring break activities

Spring break is fast approaching, and the Boys & Girls Club is busy preparing daily activities and field trips to keep kids entertained all week long.

This year's break is from April 9 to 13. Club programs will be offered Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The week's events include an Egg Drop, an activity modeled after"The Amazing Race,"a barbecue and Bunkerball, according to a news release.

Field trips include skating at the Ice Palace, sliding and jumping around the inflatable Scooter's Jungle, whale watching and eating organic strawberries at Tanaka Farms.

The annual membership for the club is $150, with daily fees of $10. For more information about spring break activities, call receptionist Trish Pack at (949) 494- 2535 ext. 100 or email


Thurston students win awards at county level

Two Thurston Middle School students won awards at the county district level of the national PTA Reflections art contest.

At the Orange County, 4th District Division awards, eighth-grader Austin Fickman took first place in the film category for his stop-motion piece, "Embrace Diversity." He now advances to the California state competition.

Eighth-grader Molly McMillen won the Literature Award of Merit for her poem, "Diversity Is."

The Reflections contest is a nationwide competition that celebrates young achievements and creativity in art, literature, photography, film, dance and musical composition. The theme for this year is "Diversity Means."

To view Austin's film, Molly's poem and other Thurston Middle School division winners, visit

—Kelly Parker

Twitter: @KellyParkerTCN

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