Schools Rule aims for $1 million

With the Marin County Fair as a backdrop, Felecia Gaston’s Marin City ‘Performing Stars of Marin’ practice their routine just before putting on a performance for the annual Schools Rule Gala Fundraiser under the big tent on the Marin County Fairgrounds on Thursday June 28. The organization is aiming to raise $1 million for Marin schools this year.

It was a perfect evening for hundreds of Schools Rule Marin supporters to gather under the big tent at the Marin County Fairgrounds. The annual circus-themed dinner was sold out with hundreds of smiling patrons chatting over Lynchburg Lemonade cocktails and Garnet wines. Appetizers were passed and a top-hatted magician astounded the crowd against the backdrop of the fair’s giant Ferris wheel. The balmy evening was enhanced with toe-tapping Bluegrass music provided by the Mill Valley Middle School.

At the entrance, young students from the Tech Resource Center of Marin displayed high-tech devices to help mobility-impaired students. Dedication was given to Special Education purchased technology and other teaching tools for special education classrooms, and received $78,866 from School Rule in 2017.

When the petite Performing Stars of Marin marched in, bedecked in red sequins and twirling shiny batons, it was time for dinner, compliments of Nugget Markets. The festive tables were covered in black-and-white stripes, with centerpieces of miniature birdcages and orange, red, and gold balloons. Redwood High School Jazz Band entertained as attendees enjoyed a family-style dinner.

Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke served as emcee during the event. The audience viewed highlights of School Rule bold and impertinent newsprint ads, so successful in raising over $750,000 in 2017. The money was distributed to the Foundations of 18 school districts in Marin County. The evening’s program toted up how each school had chosen to spend their individual donation given by Schools Rule Marin.

Tricia Garlock, a tireless volunteer, thanked the attendees as the evening’s auction began. Raised paddles won cases of select wine and a hosted dinner for 25, a hotly-competed prize ultimately won by the generous bid of Redwood Credit Union, also the night’s major sponsor.

The goal of Schools Rule Marin in 2018 is to reach one million dollars in donations. Judging from the crowd’s enthusiasm, they’ll do it.

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