Since 2003, the Las Positas College Foundation has hosted the annual formal fundraising event, ‘BEST of the BEST’ Gala.
‘BEST of the BEST’ provides guests with food and drinks from local wineries and restaurants, a silent auction as well as performances by the Theater Arts department.
This year’s event was held on April 25 and raised over $100 thousand for Las Positas’ classrooms and scholarships.
“It’s lovely,” LPC student Jolene Chandler said, “I can’t believe that people could come here and be helping the school. At the same time they’re having such a good time.”
Faculty, staff, students and members of the community were present at the event. The lobby of Las Positas’ Mertes Center for the Arts was filled with guests chatting and tasting food and wine.
“The foundation was founded in order to try to change (the awareness of LPC) and get more information out,” said Ted Kaye, the foundation’s CEO.
Kaye added that an equally important purpose for the foundation is to raise money for scholarships and “other kinds of things for the students, primarily.”
The gala’s silent auction had seven items for bidding — from six packs of wine to a Wells Fargo plush pony. The wine bids started at $600 while the pony started at $75.
However, the online auction had 64 bidding collectives. One of them, a white gold diamond necklace with an original price of $1,800 was receiving bids around $600.
All auctioned items were donated from businesses and members of the Tri-Valley community.
Besides the auctioning, the showcase provided entertainment with extracts from this semester’s theater musical “Cabaret.” Also, a dance concert and speeches from LPC’s “Talk Hawks” were featured.
To set the mood for the black tie event, the music department performed live jazz music.
“I like the music,” visitor Deborah Smith said, “it’s nice and pleasant.”
The local wineries and restaurants provided each guest with a sample, so the guests could vote for the best of the best.
The best of the best winners are both located in Livermore, California. Best restaurant went to Posada and best wine went to Darcie Kent Vineyards.
Since its inception in 2003, the showcase brings the community together in support of its community college.
“(It’s nice) seeing how many people are here to help out one another.” LPC student Alejandra Garcia said, “Because when we come together as a whole, we make a difference. You can see that with everyone here.”
Guest Patricia Koning, who works for the Sandia National Laboratory, said that SNL donates money towards the college.
“(SNL has) some sort of collaboration with the education program,” Koning said. “Sandia advises a table for this event.”
With the foundation’s advertisement more people, locally, hear about the gala. Each year it gets bigger than the pervious year, according to Kaye.
“We want to get people (to LPC) so they can see what the place looks like,” Kaye said.
“(The LPC Foundation has) now become established after doing (“BEST of the BEST”) event for 12 years.” Kaye said, “So there’s a line of people who would want to help us.”
With guests lining up to pay the $125 admission, the ‘Best of the Best’ has become the foundations greatest form of community support.
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