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Dinner Dance 2015

Highlights from the SchoolPower 2015 Gala

Saturday, March 14, 2015 – Montage Laguna Beach

Thank you Blue Sky’s Studio Kristin Karkoska! For free downloads of all Gala photos: Giving Back with Laguna Beach SchoolPower
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Logo - Stroke of Genius: SchoolPower's 30th Annual Gala

Inspiring our kids to find their inner genius

SchoolPower’s “Stroke of Genius” Breaks Records

Local education foundation SchoolPower, which broke records this year with its community campaign, continued its winning streak at Montage Laguna Beach at its 30th annual gala “Stroke of Genius.” The featured Fund-a-Need which will advance a district initiative to transform classrooms raised the most money in the history of SchoolPower’s Fund-a-Need campaigns.

SchoolPower president Tom Motherway and LBUSD chief technology officer Mike Morrison introduced the Fund-a-Need video, a parody of “The Office,” from the innovative mobile desks requested by the district. In order to outfit 12 classrooms with large monitors, audio systems and innovative furniture that allow fluid configurations and collaboration amongst students, $424,000 was needed (or $35,500 per class). LBUSD committed $212,000, which meant SchoolPower needed to raise the other $212,000 — in one night.

It was an extremely ambitious, but ultimately attainable goal, helped greatly by the compelling words and action of Thurston Middle School parent Brent Martini. An active investor in past efforts to advance LBUSD instructional goals, Martini stepped forward at the beginning of the bidding to fund three classrooms. He explained, “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?” The entire room of inspired guests, including generous supporters Holly and David Wilson, responded by enthusiastically raising their paddles, making LBUSD and SchoolPower history along the way. In addition to the $212,000 which will be directed to Fund-a-Need, over $161,000 was generated by the live and silent auctions, a raffle of a weekend at Montage Laguna Beach and other event revenue.

Event chairs Amy Kramer and Angela Shipp made sure the 330 guests had a fantastic evening, even enlisting an Albert Einstein impersonator to bring home the “Stroke of Genius” theme. “It didn’t take a genius to recognize the magic in the room Saturday night!” said executive director Robin Rounaghi. “There is no limit to what can be accomplished for local schools when everyone comes together like that.”

See recap of Dinner Dance 2014