HBed0309

Big fund-raiser for the schools tops old record

by Robb Fulcher

The Hermosa Beach Education Foundation's fourth annual Valentine's Dinner Dance and Auction raised $78,000, a record amount for the fund's largest fund-raising event.

Last year the Valentine's event raised $62,000 for the city's public schools.

This year's fund-raiser, held at Pointe 705, will help pay for a middle school art teacher, a third to fifth grade science teacher and a kindergarten through fifth grade foreign language teacher, Education Foundation President Joanne Edgerton said.

The foundation also helps pay for two optional class periods tacked on to the beginning and end of the school schedule, allowing about 290 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to take more elective classes. The elective program, in its first year, costs about $25,600.

Edgerton credited the fund-raiser's success to the work of auction chair Theresa Calish, and increased sponsorship from local businesses.

"Attendance was down a little but sponsorship donations were up," Edgerton said. "Sponsorship was around $24,000."

At auction, the foundation sold vacation packages, special dinners, and items such as snowboards and bicycles. ER