Cleveland High supporters’ hula raises big moola

See how this SE Portland high school’s boosters show their spirit by throwing a grand luau that raises $100 grand …

Debbie Greene checks in Clara and Paul Cook; Paul’s Cleveland High’s Principal.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The Warrior’s benefactors at Cleveland High School topped last year’s “007 License to Spend” spy-themed shindig by taking the annual fund-raiser in a laid-back, tropical direction this year.

“We’re having a Hawaiian luau,” said event chair Vikki Melrose as patrons filed into the sold-out event on March 1. “The theme of our annual auction this year is ‘Hula for Moola’. We’re raising money to help support academics, performing arts, and athletics at Cleveland.”

Over 100 volunteers associated with the school’s Parent Teacher Association volunteered hundreds of hours to produce the evening’s event, Melrose noted, along with four chairs and a formal committee of 40.

Welcoming folks into the fundraising party are two of the four event chairs and their Cleveland High School students: Darcy Wente, Natalie Wente, Michael Wente, Danielle Melrose, Vikki Melrose, and Brianna Melrose.

Relaxing for a moment in the silent auction tent are Sally Shuey, Pre-event Chair, and Kennedy Wolfe, Procurement Chair.

Supports school’s programs
“Even though it’s a public school, we don’t have enough funding,” Melrose said. “If we don’t help raise money, the school will be forced to cut programs we think are necessary and important, here at Cleveland.”

The event, held at the Oaks Park Pavilion – in a huge heated tent that more than doubled the size of banquet room – was a sell-out, with 430 guests attending.

Ann Gray, Debra Meyer, and Sho and Loen Dozono pause, while hunting for bargains at the benefit silent auction.

Cleveland boosters, like Betsy and Steve – dressed appropriately in their Hawaiian shirts – circulate around the silent auction tables, looking for treasures on which to bid.

After the silent auction, the casually-dressed group sat down to a meal of island delicacies catered by Noho’s Hawaiian Café, and enjoyed the music and hula dancing provided by Roland Espy.

Then, the action picked up, as auctioneer Chris Sheik got top dollar for vacation home rentals at the Oregon Coast, Central Oregon, and Mexico; tickets and passes to cultural events; dinners at leading restaurants; sports memorabilia; and VIP tickets to local sporting events. Between the two auctions, revelers bid on a record 500 items and packages.

Selling raffle tickets are Cleveland High Hula Gals (and students) Lauren Krueger, Liza Gray, Stephanie Welch, and Natalie Wente.

Bringing live “music and dance from the enchanted Hawaiian Isles” are Roland Espy and his dancers.

After the event, Melrose reported, “It went really well. We met our goal of netting $100,000. The chairs thanks all of our dedicated volunteers who worked to make this event a big success; and, all of our supporters who attended and bid so generously.”

In the silent auction tent, lots of moola was bid on great items and packages ranging from vacations to objects d’art.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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