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Dinner Dance 2019

Schoolpower’s “Outside The Box” Is A Smash Success For Laguna Schools

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LAGUNA BEACH, FEBRUARY 13, 2019 — SchoolPower, Laguna Beach’s Education Foundation, hosted its 34th Annual Dinner Dance Outside the Box on February 9 at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Chaired by Gorjana Reidel and Gina Alshuler, the event grossed over $330,000 for Laguna Beach schools.

SchoolPower President Mike Houlahan welcomed over 300 guests, and announced that SchoolPower recently achieved the $500,000 fundraising goal of the Wave of Giving campaign that began in the Fall. Both attendees and supporters from home bid furiously on silent auction items, including a week-long stay in Deer Valley, a tour experience with the Dave Matthews Band, VIP passes to the Magic Castle, and jewelry pieces from Fredric H. Rubel. New to the live auction this year was a magnum of The Flight from legendary Screaming Eagle winery, donated by Stan Kroenke of the Los Angeles Rams.

“The Dinner Dance was such a fun and memorable night to celebrate and support our schools while also spending time with our friends!” said first-time attendee Keely Chism, who is the parent of three children in Laguna schools. “My husband and I are so thankful for our Laguna Beach community and school district.”

The 2019 Fund-a-Need Building Your Future Self, introduced by a compelling video, raised $175,850 in a matter of minutes. In the words of Superintendent Dr. Jason Viloria, “Tonight’s fund-a-need strives to create an environment where students get to know who they are–their strengths, their interests, their passions–and use this to build their future self.”

One hundred percent of the funds raised will go toward the initiative, which includes curriculum and online resources related to strengths finding and career exploration, new high school classes focused on advanced research and business entrepreneurship, and a mentor program that involves strengths coaching and industry visits to connect students with professionals in the Laguna Beach community and beyond.

During the program, SchoolPower recognized the Wilson family for their unprecedented support over the past 38 years. Dave Wilson spoke about the importance of supporting all students in public schools and announced an additional gift to bring the Wilson’s lifetime support for SchoolPower to $1 million!

“We are blown away by the generosity of Holly and Dave Wilson, year after year. The funds they have infused into our schools will have an impact on students for years to come,” says SchoolPower Executive Director Sarah Durand.

To view the Fund-a-Need video produced by TMS teacher Andy Crisp, LBUSD CTO Mike Morrison and TMS/LBUSD drama teacher Alexsis Karol, visit:

Dinner Dance 01 Wilson Dinner Dance 02 Francis Dinner Dance 03 Salvino Dinner Dance 04 Samuelian Dinner Dance 05 Carpino Dinner Dance 06 Chairs Dinner Dance 07 Brashier Dinner Dance 08 Men Dinner Dance 09 Houlahan Dinner Dance 10 Motherway Dinner Dance 11 Bianchi Dinner Dance 12 Pawling Dinner Dance 13 Durand Dinner Dance 14 Ovens Dinner Dance 15 Table
Amy and Paul Dechary, Rob and Gina Alshuler, Suzzette Arnal and Wil Cruz, Rob and Sarah Durand, and Crystal and Rodney Jerabek at SchoolPower’s 34th Annual Dinner Dance. The event, run by SchoolPower, Laguna Beach’s Education Foundation, raises money for all four Laguna Beach public schools. (Photo by Kristin Karkoska, Blue Sky’s Studio)

See recap of the 2018 Dinner Dance