Clambake weekend on the way
For Parkites who haven’t ever been to a clambake, the opportunity has arrived.
The Park City Education Foundation (PCEF) is holding its annual clambake this Saturday, Sept. 27. Abby McNulty explained that the clambake is held each year to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. It’s a chance for local families to get together to help support the schools, explained McNulty.
PCEF is a non-profit organization that partners with local schools to initiate new and unique programs, McNulty said. The PCEF is an organization that raises money to help bridge the educational funding gap and measurably improve student achievement in core subjects and language arts. The hope is that after a three-year pilot run, the programs initiated by the foundation will be successful enough that they will eventually be absorbed into the district’s budget, according to McNulty.
Stacey Roberts, foundation events coordinator said that the clambake is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the PCEF. The event, a four-year-old tradition, will take place at the Deer Valley Lodge this Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. with a reception and silent auction. Over 200 items will be auctioned off this year.
Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. Roberts said that the Deer Valley Lodge has a reputation for serving top-notch seafood. The menu includes salmon, tiger prawns, lobster, littleneck clams, mussels, scallops and more.
A live auction will take place during the sit-down dinner. Nine packages will be auctioned off, including a weekend in Jackson Hole, Wyo., a Labrador retriever, and a private dinner for 16 with chef James Dumas. Also, Roberts said that a popular live-auction item will be a bike ride (mountain or road, you can choose) with Eric Heiden, gold medal-winning speed skater. The package includes a bike-fitting and tune-up before the ride and massage afterwards.
The night will conclude with dinner and dancing. Music will be provided by young, local musicians. Big Time Jazz, a jazz quintet comprised of Park City High School students will headline the event. Other student performances will take place throughout the evening by choral groups from local middle and high schools, and performances from, "You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown," led by PCHS music teacher Nicole Madison.
The PCEF raised over $80,000 last year. They have set a goal of raising $100,000 at this year’s event, according to McNulty. The PCEF raises all the money for the programs they fund up-front, so money from this year’s fundraiser will be used to fund programs over the next few years, explained McNulty.
Another way the PCEF supports local schools is by awarding teacher grants each year. McNulty explained that eight teacher grants, awarded each October, help support programs in the classroom that teachers can’t afford within their yearly budget. One of these grants went to McPolin Elementary to support Mona Lesar and Melissa Bott’s Spanish interactive reading program. The grant provided books and an information night to help bring reading materials in a student’s native language into their homes. Roberts said that this year, teachers who have been awarded grants in the past have been invited to this year’s clambake as well.
The PCEF also supports the International Baccalaureate program in area middle schools, an after-school enrichment program at McPolin Elementary, middle school music programs, and a housing stipend for the Park City School District superintendent to help him afford housing in Park City, McNulty explained.
Roberts encouraged anyone who believes in the importance of a strong public education system to get involved in the event as a guest, volunteer, or auction item donor. Tickets are being sold for $160 per person, or $1,500 for a table of 8. They can be purchased online at http://www.pcef4kids.org or by calling 615-0235.
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