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KEF presents Lights, Camera, Auction

Fun, food, and fundraising on tap at annual event

Lights, Camera, Auction (LCA), hailed as the most important fundraiser for programs at Kenwood Elementary School by organizers, is set for Saturday, May 21, 5-10 p.m., at Fairview Valley of the Moon, 7035 Oakmont Dr., Santa Rosa. The theme is Saturday Night Fever, so everyone is encouraged to arrive in their grooviest disco attire.

The success of LCA is critical for Kenwood’s students, explained Chad Wyatt, president of the Kenwood Education Foundation (KEF), which puts on the annual event. “That is especially true this year, since COVID canceled our fundraiser in both 2020 and 2021, creating a significant financial deficit. Our students need us to come through for them this year,” he said.

LCA raises about 75% of the KEF’s annual budget, which is used to support programs otherwise not funded through the state of California, such as physical education, music, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) curriculum. “Kenwood Elementary, however, provides all of these things for every student, which sets it apart from many public schools in the state,” Wyatt said. “These programs are 100% funded by the KEF.”

The KEF also supports the school’s computer lab, library, school lunch program, and after-school care, as well as funding “valuable classroom instructional aides, who keep our teacher-to-student ratios very low and our student achievement very high,” Wyatt said.

The KEF president noted that while LCA is always fabulous, “this year will be extra fabulous.” The newly renovated venue will be fully decorated with the Saturday Night Fever theme, and every ticket includes a cocktail reception, dinner, dancing, a full open bar, and an appearance by a special guest MC … beloved former principal Bob Bales. Sponsors of this year’s event include Tegelaar + Sevenau, Poppy Bank, Landmark Vineyards, the Kenwood Market, American Modular Systems, and Bank of Marin.

Live and silent auction items are still rolling in, but past items have included international getaways, unique dining experiences, premium wines, tours, and more. The auction part of LCA is the most important, Wyatt explained, because it raises the most in terms of funding. The KEF is still accepting donations for the auction, which have historically included stays at vacation rentals outside of Wine Country, hosted dining experiences, tickets to sporting events, and tours of a unique destination. All donations can be made at the KEF website: bit.ly/keflca2022.

“I am amazed at how much money certain items will raise, and how many of those items come from the greater Kenwood, Sonoma Valley, and Santa Rosa communities,” he said, adding that because everyone at the KEF is a volunteer, all donations are invested in the elementary school.

To reserve individual tickets or purchase an entire table for a group of friends or an organization, visit bit.ly/keflca2022. Space is limited and the fundraiser always sells out, so buy tickets early. The KEF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so all donations are tax deductible. For questions about the foundation or LCA, email [email protected] org.

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