The economy may be slow to recover, but the 500 people who attended Petaluma Educational Foundation's fund-raising gala BASH on Saturday were not slow in showing their support to a good cause.
This year's bash raised a record $340,000. Organizers anticipate expenses to total around $78,000, projecting the nonprofit organization that serves all 37 Petaluma schools to net a substantial $262,000 for coming year programs. Last year, PEF's net was $221,000.
"Congratulations on the finest school fund-raising event I have ever been to in my 32 years in California public schools," said Scott Mahoney, superintendent of the Waugh School District. "I was brought to tears more than once during the Bash, witnessing the generosity of so many people who obviously care so deeply about children, schools and PEF. I feel so blessed to be able to work in a community with an organization like PEF."
PEF's Fund the Future program during the live auction raised a total of $122,000, compared with $80,050 in 2009. One-hundred percent of Fund the Future proceeds go directly to the foundation's numerous Major Impact and Enrichment Grant funded programs in city schools.
A substantial $95,500 in corporate sponsorships for the BASH exceeded the 2009 record amount by $18,000.
Live auction items raised $7,400 more than last year's amount, totaling an estimated $56,000 for 2010. The silent auction raised approximately $20,000 and advertising sales in the Bash brochure raised around $10,000. A wine wall raised another $2,000.
This year's bash was held in commercial space donated for the occasion by RNM Properties at 1039-B N. McDowell Blvd.
"The evening was wonderful," said Petaluma Schools Superintendent Dr. Greta Viguie. "The set-up, decorations, silent auction, sound system, food and entertainment were all amazing. We sincerely appreciate everything PEF does to support our students."
— Argus-Courier Staff