It was quite a spectacle, for both participants and those working in the box office.
While many are calling it one of the South Pasadena Educational Foundation’s best Parti Gras events to date, organizers continue to tabulate the financial figures.
“We for sure met last year’s numbers but we are unsure if it is more,” explained SPEF Executive Director Stacey Petersen. “It wouldn’t be a success without the public’s commitment to our schools and the popularity of such a fun-filled night is proof.”
Petersen said 900 tickets were sold “and (we had) a very full house,” she added, talking about the organization’s major fundraiser of the year on May 18 at the Arroyo Golf Course in the city. “We especially want to thank those who gave to our auctions and the wonderful restaurants that donated their time and excellent food.”
SPEF, the South Pasadena Unified School District’s fundraising arm, generously donated more than $737,000 to the South Pasadena Unified School District last year. Parti Gras supported much to that figure. Last year the event raised more than $160,000.
The milestone of reaching its 40th birthday this year dominated the 2019 version as SPEF celebrated its founding back in 1979 by a group of concerned parents and community leaders in response to educational budget conditions not unlike those faced today.
D.J. Richard Blade played 70s tunes, guests enjoy food from 25 local restaurants, danced even as rain fell late at night and raised big dollars through a live and silent auction.
“At this year’s Parti Gras, we wanted to celebrate four decades of SPEF board members and their dedication to the students of South Pasadena,” explained PJ Lutz, program coordinator for SPEF who logged long hours making plans for the event that will put the 1970s in the spotlight with attire and music.
“I have been attending Parti Gras since 1998,” said Michele Downing, a longtime realtor in town. “The best thing about Parti Gras is it gets better every year! I remember when it was at [Dave and Leslie] Saeta’s home [on Oak Street] and we had 200 parents and teachers attending the event. Parti Gras is a huge fundraiser for our schools. It amazing to see all the support from our community come together to make it a successful event.”