Local education foundation SchoolPower, which broke records this year with its community campaign, continued its winning streak at its 30th annual gala “Stroke of Genius,” held on Saturday, March 21. The featured Fund-a-Need, to advance a district initiative to transform classrooms, raised $212,000, the most money in the history of such campaigns by the organization.
Schoolpower president Tom Motherway and LBUSD chief technology officer Mike Morrison appealed to the gala audience with a video from the sort of desks on the district’s wish list.
In order to outfit 12 classrooms with large monitors, audio systems and innovative furniture that permit reconfiguring and collaboration among students, $424,000 was needed (or $35,500 per class). District officials pledged half, which meant Schoolpower needed to raise the remainder in one night.
The ambitious goal was helped greatly by the compelling words and action of Thurston Middle School parent Brent Martini, says a statement from Robin Rounaghi, the organization’s executive director.
An active backer of past instructional initiatives, Martini stepped forward at the beginning of the bidding to fund three classrooms. “What I learned is that the district has great intentions, but they can only go so fast… so I asked, how do we accelerate that?” he asked.
Others, including Holly and David Wilson, responded by enthusiastically pledging.
In addition to the $212,000 directed to Fund-a-Need, over $157,000 was raised by 330 guests bidding on the live and silent auctions.
Event chairs Amy Kramer and Angela Shipp enlisted an Albert Einstein impersonator to bring home the “Stroke of Genius” theme.
To view the 2015 Fund-a-Need video or to learn more about SchoolPower’s support for Laguna Beach schools, go to lbschoolpower.org.