Another successful gala for Parkrose Educational Foundation

Indeed, it was all ‘Lights, Camera, Auction’ at this year’s fundraiser — which supports the schools’ activities. Take a look …

It wouldn’t be a glitzy Lights, Camera, Auction without the paparazzi snapping photos of guests as they arrive at this year’s Parkrose Educational Foundation Auction and Dinner, walking in a red carpet.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It was another splendid evening of fun and fundraising at this year’s Parkrose Educational Foundation Auction and Dinner on May 11th, held once again at the Sheridan Airport Hotel.

Many of those attending were dressed to “make their starring appearance” walking down the red carpet leading into the Mt. Saint Helens Room lobby, where the silent auction was set up.

Two of the many volunteers, Carrie McGloghlon and Natasha Roney, check in the guests.

“It’s true; this marks our 19th annual dinner auction to support the enhancement of Parkrose students’ educational experiences; and, it’s the 30th year of our foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization,” pointed out Auction Chair Kari Gothro.

Auction Chair Kari Gothro pauses for a photo “on the movie set” with volunteers Christopher Sellon and Kelly Sellon.

Asked why she’s taken on the challenge of organizing this event, Gothro replied, “I have a servant’s heart – and I love to help raise funds for important causes. Perhaps because I have two children who are alums of Parkrose High School, the mission and work of the Parkrose Education Foundation is definitely something that pulls on my heartstrings.

“Our Foundation is a great organization that supports kindergarten through 12th education teachers, students, and staff,” Gothro told East Portland News as the guests were registering.

Participants check to see if their bid has been topped during the Silent Auction.

With it now being policy that the Portland Public School District is now taking all funds raised by individual education foundations – and distributes the money as it wishes – Gothro said that is another good reason to be in Parkrose. “It’s really great for our foundation to be able to keep these funds local, and be able to support classroom projects, field trips, clubs and organizations, right here in our community.”

For example, this year their “Special Appeal” was for the Parkrose High Theater Department to raise funds for purchasing a new wireless microphone system.

In the Ballroom, supper is served!

“We’re so thankful to have a core group of seven volunteers who work for about eight months to organize this and put it on,” Gothro said. “But on the day of the actual event, we’re equally grateful for the at least a dozen additional more volunteers, who start at 9:00 a.m. and work until it’s over, late at night!”

Master of Ceremonies and auctioneer Ian Lindsay revs up the crowd for another live auction item.

As guests circulated among the silent auction tables, servers provided wine and soft drinks, as well as appetizers of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, baked brie and jalapeno-filled filo cups, spinach and feta spanakopita, and pork pot stickers.

Enjoying the evening are Johanna Lopes and Parkrose School District Superintendent Michael Lopes-Serrao.

“Seeing all of the volunteers who are putting effort into this to make it a success every year is really exciting,” commented Parkrose School District Superintendent Michael Lopes-Serrao.

“I’m always deeply appreciative of the hard work and the benefit that it brings all of our kids – which includes field trips, supporting projects in classrooms – it’s all pretty incredible and I say ‘thank you’, from the bottom of my heart. Our volunteers are making a great positive difference for our kids in school, every single day.”

“Betting” a string of beads at a time, to play each round, folks play the “Heads-or-Tails” game.

In the banquet room, attendees tucked into suppers of Boneless Beef Short Ribs, Pan Seared Salmon, or Saffron Rissotto with field mushrooms. Each of these meals were served with broccolini tossed in olive oil, roasted garlic mashed Potatoes, and a market green salad.

As in past years, this meal was topped off by sweets, on which guests at tables bid to take part in the “Dessert Dash”.

When it was all over, the event raised $11,350 to purchase a new wireless microphone system for use in the Parkrose High School Theater program. Additional funds raised will be used for education programming grants and classroom support.

This year’s VIP Auction Sponsors were:

Central East Portland Rotary ~ Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union

Supporters included Historic Parkrose and the Parkrose Faculty Association.

To find out more about the Parkrose Educational Foundation, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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