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Foundation Event Raises Nearly $125,000 for Santa Monica-Malibu Schools

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Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors BureauWhen one lives in a city as breathtakingly beautiful and unique as Santa Monica, inevitably that city will be shared with visitors.

By Lookout Staff

May 15, 2014 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) raised nearly $125,000 at its inaugural fundraising event last month, foundation officials announced Wednesday.

The $123,400 raised at ”Pier Party!” held April 27 at Pacific Park on the historic Santa Monica Pier, will support the School District’s Vision for Student Success, a program that benefits every student in the district.

The funds raised came from the sale of some 1,500 tickets, a live auction, raffle baskets and 29 sponsors, officials said. TREATS Frozen Yogurt & Ice Bar sold yogurt and sorbet to attendees, with all the proceeds going to the Education Foundation.

“This was a true community event,” said Linda Greenberg Gross, the foundation’s executive director. “Pier Party! is a wonderful example of how an entire community comes together to support our students and schools.”

In addition to the sponsors, 13 restaurants participated in the VIP portion of the event and more than 100 volunteers from the community and local businesses helped out, helped out, she said.

The VIP component took place in Pacific Park’s Pavilion and featured 13 area restaurants: Blue Plate Taco, Caffe Luxxe, Chinois on Main, Del Frisco's Grille, FIG, Hostaria del Piccolo, Hotel Erwin, JiRaffe, Joe's/Bar Pintxo, The Lobster, Michael's, Pier Burger, and Wilshire.

Those who bought tickets were treated to rides, games, a live DJ, the Sposato Brothers from Malibu High, touch tanks from the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, interactive games by Marbles: The Brain Store, a mime and magician, arts and crafts run by P.S. Arts, a live auction and exciting raffle baskets.

Among those attending were Superintendent Sandra Lyon, City Councilmember Tony Vazquez, Assembly Member Richard Bloom and School Board members Maria Leon-Vazquez, Ralph Mechur and Nimish Patel.

Established in 1982 in response to federal and state education budget cuts, the Foundation is charged with raising $4 million annually to fund the SMMUSD Vision for Student Success, a program that “ensures excellence for every school and every student in the district,” officials said.

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