An evening of friends, food, and fundraising celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the Culver City Education Foundation. The Ruby Gala – a nod to both the traditional gift for a fortieth anniversary and of course, the famous ruby slippers of Oz, took place at Playa Studios in Culver City in May 14, 2022.
A toast was raised, by Executive Director Wendy Hamill, in thanks for all the community support, noting that “The ‘ruby’ theme is about both of those things, but also about how giving our students the tools that they need is where CCEF can add a bit of sparkle to their efforts.”
The sold-out evening featured excellent cuisine from local restaurants; Allegra Cafe, Chica’s Tacos, Petrelli’s Steak House, Harajuku Taproom, Lonzo’s, Nankai Shochu, and Simonette all provided some of their most notable dishes, with dessert presented from Hotcakes Bakes.
Board President Elaine Behnken took the stage as well, to reflect on the many programs that the CCEF supports at all the schools, from the Growing Great gardens to the award-winning Robotics team.
Entertainment for the fest was provided by cast members from the recent CCHS production of “Matilda,” with Charlotte Hamill, Mila Kind, and Sophia Sanginitto singing a lilting and sincere rendition of “When I Grow Up. ” A serious presentation by AVPA Jazz musician Zachary Kronlage and AVPA dancer Taniah Orr offering Charles Mingus’ “Fables of Faubus,” interpreting the jazz legend’s song on the integration of Little Rock High School.
The event’s host sponsor, Amazon Studios, was represented by Marie Lloyd, who generously added another $40,000 contribution to lift up the evening’s totals.
The Culver City Education Foundation’s board member Secretary Beth Stewart offered that it took a lot of work to get everything set up, but that it was good to be “back in the real world, talking with actual people. You can do a lot on line, but you can’t do this…” The music, the performances, and the laughter were all signs of a community happy to gather for a good cause.