Michele Canon and Cissy Raymond agreed when their children were attending kindergarten at Carver Elementary that they would co-chair the school’s biggest annual event – the Parent Party – when their kids reached fifth grade.
Approximately five years later, the ladies kept their word and are heading a team of volunteers to host the Carver Hall of Fame Gala on March 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rose Bowl.
“A lot of our committee is from that first kindergarten class so it’s kind of like the family getting back together,” Raymond said. “It’s just been a great event because you’re chairing it with people who are not only invested in Carver, but invested in our last year. It’s kind of our last hurrah.”
“The parents and the kids all grew up together,” Parent Party Procurement Co-Chair Hal Suetsugu said, adding that it’s like a farewell to Carver Elementary. However, some parents still have younger children at Carver.
Planning for the 2016 Parent Party began last April with decisions being made about the theme and venue as well as who would be taking the lead on different tasks.
“We wanted to make it fun and do it at a different venue,” Canon said. “We were thinking about USC, but the Rose Bowl is in our backyard and it’s such an iconic landmark.”
“We’re such a sports-minded community,” Raymond said. “It’s the kind of theme that everyone can rally around.”
Canon said it was called the “Hall of Fame Gala” to give it more of a sophisticated feel.
“You can come as an athlete or you can come as an ESPY award winner,” she said.
Numerous volunteers make up the operations and procurement committees.
“We call them ‘athletes’ because they’re out there with their blood, sweat and tears in the trenches,” Canon said. “They have to perform under pressure. They’re stepping up for us and helping us reach our goal.”
With the Carver Parent Party now less than two weeks away, it is the busiest time for its planners.
“It’s a whirlwind right now,” Canon said, mentioning tasks such as finalizing the event program, organizing event vendors and hired staff, doing event walkthroughs and managing auction items.
There will be a super silent auction and live auction at the gala. Currently, there is an online auction until March 6 with 250 items at www.biddingforgood.com. Nicolette Fuerst is heading up the online auction.
Auction items include a Carver Elementary parking spot, Coldplay tickets, a virtual reality experience, a VIP lunch and tour at Warner Brothers, a Twohey’s Truck dinner party for 50, Principal for the Day, Superintendent for the Day and a football signed by the CIF Champion San Marino High School Titan varsity football team.
There are numerous fixed bid parties enabling guests to buy into such events as a men’s poker night, girls’ night in, mother-daughter tea or the Grand Fiesta. There’s also a Teacher Goodie Raffle with different teacher experiences, such as pizza parties, bowling events and a movie with popcorn available.
“It was made very clear to me by both of my children that I need to buy as many raffle tickets as possible,” Raymond joked.
Parents will be able to bid on the classroom project this year, which is a classroom jersey with the room number and signatures from the students on it.
The proceeds from the Parent Party go directly back to Carver Elementary.
“It contributes to all of our enrichment programs,” Raymond said, adding that it helps the school where the state falls short of funding it.
Carver Elementary PTA President Sylvia Koh said the PTA has an allocation meeting every year.
“We have a committee and we plan how we’re going to use the money,” she said.
“It’s all to help enrich the kids and their education,” Suetsugu said.
Anyone interested in tickets for Parent Party should RSVP at Carver Elementary.