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A reimagined Red and White Ball coming this summer

Sonoma Valley Education Foundation’s inclusive fundraiser set for Aug. 27

By Melissa Dowling

The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) will hold a “reimagined” Red and White Ball, the organization’s annual fundraiser, this coming Aug. 27, according to a recent press release.

The event will take place in its usual location, on the Sonoma Plaza, though this year the SVEF will unveil a new format. The traditional gala will be replaced with a community celebration. This year’s Red and White Ball will have a picnicstyle dining experience, dancing, and the opportunity for families, donors, and community members to connect and unify around Sonoma’s public schools.

The SVEF was established in 1993 and has since provided more than $20 million to Sonoma Valley public schools through grants to teachers and the Sonoma Valley Unified School District’s administration. The foundation has also sponsored community initiatives and meaningful programming, such as the Summer Literacy Academy, Preschool for All, and more. As the primary fundraising and volunteer resource for the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD), the SVEF strives to enrich the student experience and help Valley youth succeed in the classroom and beyond.

“After two years of successful fundraising in a remote capacity, we felt compelled to reimagine this popular fundraiser and evolve it into a platform that not only better reflects and celebrates the community we serve, but [also] safeguards [the event] from untimely cancellations due to fire season or pandemic-related shutdowns,” said Angela Ryan, executive director of the foundation. “We’re thrilled that the generosity of our donors has given us the confidence to host a more inclusive event that helps families, donors, and the community at large feel more invested, engaged, and connected to our public schools and one another.”

The event will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. on the Sonoma Plaza, where families and community members have the opportunity to come together and enjoy a picnic in the park that directly benefits Sonoma Valley public schools. The $40 ticket price includes a reusable wine tumbler, a complimentary glass of wine, and a picnic blanket. Tickets go on sale June 15, and sliding-scale pricing will be available to ensure the event is accessible to all.

SVUSD parent-teacher organizations and partner organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley, the Sonoma Ecology Center, the Sonoma Community Center, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Kimzin Creative, and the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, will be in attendance with booths highlighting the great things happening at schools and programs made possible by donor support to the SVEF.

The evening will conclude with a dance party and performance by local band Funk Fatale.

“We are beyond excited to keep the elements of this annual event that our community has loved, while also evolving its format to feel more welcoming and inclusive,” said Gail Chadwin, director of development for the SVEF. “The nature in which fundraising has progressed over the past two years allows us to reengage the community we’re here to serve and invite families to feel more invested and connected to supporting our schools and community.”

For more information on the event and how to participate, contact Sarah Carroll at [email protected] org. For more information about the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, please visit