It’s South Pasadena’s biggest party of the year and the stage is set for another extravaganza as organizers are set to roll out Parti Gras 2019 70’s style Saturday night in Arroyo Park.
No one throws a bash like the South Pasadena Educational Foundation (SPEF), which has perfected it over its 40 years of existence.
The milestone and a theme of Studio ’79 will dominate the night as SPEF celebrates 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.
“At this year’s Parti Gras, we want 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 has put in long hours in preparation for the 6 p.m. event that will put the 1970s in the spotlight with attire and music.
Highlights will feature cocktails and food, a live and silent auction, Studio 79 photo areas and groovy DJ Richard Blade spinning tunes late into the night.
While the focus is on fun, the event will create a giant revenue stream for SPEF, generating more than $160,000 a year ago. It takes a lot of pitching in from the community, much of it coming from an array of lavish live auction items each year. Some up for grabs this go-around include:
- – Live painting created by Greg Adamson
- – Private coffee tasting at Jones Coffee
- – SPPD helicopter ride and ride along
- – George Clinton at The Greek concert tickets
- – Fiesta for 50
- – Week in San Miguel de Allende
- – The Who at the Hollywood Bowl tickets
- – Top Gun fighter pilot experience
- – Jennifer Lopez at The Forum tickets
- – Disneyland for 12 package
- – Goodyear Blimp ride
- – Dodger Stadium private tour with team historian
- – Sushi master dinner for 20
To help celebrate 40 years will be recognition of SPEF board members and past presidents. A dedicated lounge for SPEF board alums will be set up at the site.
In addition, Bristol Farms is serving appetizers in the silent auction area “so people can bid and not have to leave the auction area to get food,” explained Lutz.
Bristol Farms also donated a new item to the live auction – an in-home dinner for 20 prepared by their sushi master.
Several new restaurants are participating – Cos & Pi, Lost Parrot Cafe, Pisces Poke and Urban Kitchen, joining past supporters: ARO Latin, Beyond the Olive, Bristol Farms, Cafe X2O, Canoe House, Communal, El Cholo, Genovese’s Kitchen, Gus’s, Heirloom, Huntington Catering, Jersey Mike’s, Kon Tiki, Mamma’s Brick Oven, Menchie’s, Mike & Anne’s, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Patakan, Radhika, and Twohey’s.
Lutz knows the organization wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of hundreds of board members and the dedication of SPEF presidents who carried the organization over the past 40 years including:
Lori Dillman, Megan Dostal, Michele Downing, Kristi Drinkwater, Rick Freeman, Julie Giulioni, Stephanie Glazier, Rosie Greenwood, Harcourt Hervey, Boyd Hudson, Ruby Kalra, Paul LaCombe, Diane Lasell, Merna Leisure, Sheryl MacPhee, Jerry Markle, Scott Moe, Jon Primuth, Bob Proctor, Peter Radsch, Jo Saeta, Leslie Saeta, Lawrence Sin, David Sorensen, Mark Priver, and Doug Yokomizo.
At the end of the day, it’s about the kids, who will benefit through support of those who annually give to SPEF, the South Pasadena Unified School District’s fundraising arm, which generously donated more than $737,000 to SPUSD last year.
“This year we are excited to celebrate forty years of SPEF,” said current SPEF President Megan Dostal. “Forty years of our community members stepping up and committing to donate their time and talents in support of South Pas schools. I can’t wait to dance to Richard Blade’s 70s tunes, enjoy food from 25 local restaurants and raise my auction paddle in support of SPUSD!”
For ticket information, Google SPEF or call (626) 441-5810.