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Fun fuels foundation's fundraiser

Monte Carlo night brings community together to support education
By: Roxie Rice, Special to the Colfax Record
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With 150 guests in attendance, the Placer Hills Education Foundation held its eighth annual dinner and auction March 1 at the Winchester Country Club in Meadow Vista.

The Monte Carlo-themed event provided a night of revelry and merriment among those from foothill communities from Colfax to Meadow Vista who seek to support education. The party offered dinner and cocktails, a silent and live auction, casino games and dancing well into the night.

The idea for the Education Foundation dinner and auction was conceived when a handful of Placer Hills Union School District parents sought to build an education foundation to fund programs that support the continued enrichment of the children in a 21st century learning environment.  Since its inception in 2005, the Education Foundation has grown year over year, raising some $92,000 last year with $62,000 attributed directly to the auction event. These donations provide grants to Sierra Hills and Weimar Hills Schools for programs, equipment, materials and technology for the district’s 1,100 students.

 “Last year was the most successful year ever, thanks in part to Bay Area-based Sunpower Corporation, who donated an entire solar electric system,” said event chairman Bret McCord. “This year Sunpower is providing an ongoing grant by generously donating a portion of each system sold in our district to the schools.” 

The outpouring of community support for the cause inspires current Education Foundation president Holly Michael. “The money enables the schools to do more than what their annual budget will allow,” Michael said. “This year is critical with a $1 million budget cut threatening the quality of the education experience. What’s really made the difference is the community involvement with donations in services and money, items for the live and silent auctions, and generous raffle items. We were able to offer more than 150 auction items.”  Education Foundation grants have supported visual and performing arts, libraries, technology supported math and social studies curriculums, field trips, clubs and much more.

A portion of the “Double Down for Education” Monte Carlo evening was dedicated to Fund-A-Need, a live auction event during which professional auctioneer David Sobon hoped to raise $20,000 in straight cash donations. Two opening bidders brought the crowd to its feet by offering $2,500 each, resulting in a subsequent bidding frenzy. The Fund–A-Need cash donations will support areas having the greatest need within the district as the budget evolves.

McCord thanked Fred Adam, retiring district superintendent, saying, “Adam has worked tirelessly to keep everyone working together to provide the best environment for our children and school district through these tough times.” McCord also thanked the teachers and staff who continue to strive for excellent education in the schools despite the limit of resources and funds available to them.