By Brandon HENSLEY
They came for the pizza, and they probably stayed for the pizza. In between, of course, was the music. The Crescenta Valley High School Instrumental Music Dept. held its first ever “Pizza Wars” fundraiser in the school’s quad on April 28.
Eight local pizzerias participated in the event. Students, parents and supporters of the music program could partake in each one of the businesses’ best offerings for a $15 ticket, and then vote which pizza they preferred in several categories, including best sauce, cheese and overall quality.
Mike LeFevre, coordinator for the school’s Instrumental Music Foundation, said he started the process of putting this fundraiser together in February, and explained the amount of work it took to make it happen.
“You have to find the owner, the manager, and explain who you are and what you’re doing and explain what the idea is,” he said. “Then you tell them you want half of the pizzas donated and you’ll pay for the costs of the other half.”
The winner of best overall pizza was Gardenia Market and Deli. LeFevre presented Gardenia owner Raymond Cherfane with a certificate at the shop on Monday. Results of the other categories were to be posted on the CVHS music website and in the hallways of the school.
During the event, the CV jazz band played on the quad stage, delighting the audience sitting at tables with balloons strung around the chairs as the sun set behind them. At the end of the evening, individual pizza boxes were available for $5.
Denise Camner, whose son Ian plays saxophone in the program, was a parent volunteer for the event. She said she enjoys these fundraisers, and that being a part of the program has been beneficial.
“I do like being involved now because I’ve gotten to know a lot of the other parents, too. That allows me to get to know their children, which makes me feel good about being in the community,” she said.
Camner and her family prefer Georgee’s Pizza in La Cañada, which was a contestant in the Pizza Wars. Regardless of the choices, she said the evening went according to plan.
“I think for this being the first time this has ever been done, Mike is right. The turnout’s been great,” she said.
This is one of two main fundraisers for the music department. The other is in the fall, which is a Korean barbecue, also held in the quad. LeFevre said that event typically raises around $5,000. The money is needed to buy instruments, rent instruments and buy uniforms.
“We need two to four of these events. We do two of them,” he said, while adding that Pizza Wars was a success. He hoped to get 200 presale tickets and ended with 250, while he guessed there were about 75 walkups. He was aiming for 50 to 100 walkups.
“I think this is exactly right down Main Street. I didn’t expect more [people], I didn’t expect [fewer],” LeFevre said.
CV’s Instrumental Music Dept. will hold its annual Spring POPS Concert on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. in the MacDonald Auditorium, 4400 Ramsdell Ave. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. The evening will be space themed, performed by CV’s jazz band, symphony orchestra, concert band, string orchestra, and wind ensemble. The MacDonald Auditorium will transform into a “spaceship,” transporting audience members through a musical galaxy of songs such as “Space Oddity,” “Close Encounters,” “Star Wars,” “Avatar,” “Apollo 13″ and more.