Last night in the atrium at the Shoppes at Harbor Village in Princeton more than 100 parents, teachers, school supporters, and Cabrillo Unified School District (CUSD) board members attended the El Granada Elementary School’s annual Denim and Diamonds Auction all with a common goal in mind: to raise money to fill the current budget gap so El Granada school kids can continue to participate in basic education programs such as P.E., science, library, art, and music.
A casual theme, higher attendance, generously donated auction items, and a slightly better economy this year all contributed to making the evening a great success.
Only in its second year for the school’s auction, the Denim and Diamonds theme was chosen because of its appeal to the school demographic.
“It’s easy for the community to come to a great event and dress casually,” said Caroline Naito, PTO co-president, who lead the auction committee. “It also fits in well with the Coastside lifestyle.”
In addition, the no fuss theme keeps the reason why they are all there in the first place — to raise money for the school — the main focus of the event and encourages people, who would otherwise not go, to attend.
“I love the theme as do most of the parents at the school because it’s simple, yet elegant,” said El Granada PTO member Liz Kallinsky. “Dressing for the event is very easy as most people have jeans and some type of bling, whether it’s jewelry, a shirt or jeans with rhinestones, so people don’t have to worry about buying new things or about dressing in a bizarre theme. I know people that had a bit of anxiety going to their school auctions because of having to dress a certain way, and one year, they almost didn’t go.”
Cosmos, decorations like large diamond crystals with silver strands and the ambiance of the atrium mall all made for a festive and fun evening. Donated auction items included a handcrafted American Girl Dream Wardrobe, a birdwatching hike in Pescadero, and a bedtime reading from Library Lynne as well as artisan jewelry, a kiteboarding lesson, and a photo portrait sitting.
“This year’s economy has improved since last year at this time, so we were hopeful for more generous bids," said Jennie Loft, co-president of the El Granada PTO. "In addition, the auction team has secured a similar number of items, approximately 200, as last year but this year’s items are more unique such as field trips with teachers.”
Bids were placed on big ticket items, too, like a stay at one of 14 different hotels, including the Carmel Valley Ranch, a guided tour and lunch at Dreamworks Studios, VIP bottle service at a San Francisco nightclub, and estate bottled wines and artisan beers.
In addition, thousands of dollars were donated to this event by parents, teachers, and the coastside community.
"This event was a success because the community came together with a focused goal of raising funds for our kids," said Loft. "We believe in the quality education taught at EG School, and want to continue to support the programs despite the continual budget crisis. It was a beautiful moment shared by a caring community."