Luau raises funds

Mountain Avenue Elementary parents showed their support for their school and their kids at the Mountain Avenue is Committed to Kids [MACK] Night Out Luau fundraiser.

The event was held at the home of Leah and Kirk Dilbeck and was a Hawaiian success.

“We love to entertain and we have a big yard,” Leah Dilbeck said.

She graciously opened her home to over 150 school supporters on March 28. The annual event has changed over the years. In the past, it had been held at outside venues, then last year, it was decided to bring it home and have it at the school.

Dilbeck said the school was nice but it still seemed like a school; she wanted the event to have more of a home-type atmosphere.

Guests sipped classic Mai Tais, Chi Chis and enjoyed Hawaiian food from Damon’s, a custom-made dessert from Porto’s Bakery and authentic Hawaiian dancers.

But the real reason for the event was to raise money for the school which was done through live and silent auctions. In the end, over $20,000 was raise which will help support a new computer lab at the school that will be installed during spring break.

MACK is the school’s foundation and this was the 17th annual parent’s night out. Proceeds from the event support the campaign “Building For Our Future” to ensure an optimal environment for learning, including maintaining and enhancing the school’s library and computer lab, staffing, materials and equipment.

One of the liveliest portions of the evening was the silent and live auctions that fetched the lion’s share of money raised. The live auction items included weekends at The Oaks at Ojai, Mammoth, Universal Studios and Sheraton Universal. Hugely populuar were raffle baskets from each grade level, donations from teachers, a new 50/50 raffle which gave guests a chance to win $2,500 and the opportunity raffles.

M.AC.K. funds immediate and long-term grant requests, such as student desks, computer lab and music teachers’ salaries, as well as long term capital expenditures, including enhancing and expanding the computer lab with new computers and software.

In the past four years, M.A.C.K has raised more than $250,000 for the school and funded critical staff positions including the librarian, computer and music teachers; the purchase of new playground equipment; 38 new Macintosh computers for the computer lab; and enhanced the school’s library with computers, books, encyclopedias, video and DVD tools.

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