By Jason KUROSU
Mountain Avenue Committed to Kids (M.A.C.K.) held its annual M.A.C.K. Night Out on Saturday, a fundraiser organized by Mountain Avenue parents that has become a tradition since M.A.C.K.’s inception 20 years ago.
The La Cañada Thursday Club was the site of the event, as it has been over the past several years. Outdoors, guests enjoyed food and beverage tastings while live music from local band FM Radio and a silent auction awaited them indoors. Local businesses, restaurants and residents contributed items to the silent auction, as well as the food for the event.
Regarding the community participation necessary in putting M.A.C.K. Night Out 2014 together, M.A.C.K. Night Out co-chair and mother of two Mountain Avenue students, Rose Watson recalled one of her favorite maxims: “There’s no I in team.”
Indeed, the prizes came from many different sources, both within and outside of the school community. Tickets to numerous theme parks were part of the auction, as well as vouchers for a variety of local businesses.
Prizes put together by the students and faculty of Mountain Avenue Elementary were also among the available winnings.
“Class baskets” were made from parents’ donations with each Mountain Avenue classroom contributing a basket of prizes for the event. Each basket followed a specific theme for the assortment of prizes within, among them, “Disney,” “UCLA,” “Scrapbooking” and “Beach Party” to name a few. The teachers also auctioned themselves off, so to speak, with prizes available for kids to hang out with their favorite teachers for lunch, a movie, pizza parties and more.
The proceeds of the fundraiser are dedicated to new computers for the school, new furniture for the science lab and an upgraded library. Watson also said that the fundraiser will work to support other arts programs such as dance, drama and music. As such, part of the fundraiser went towards purchasing a refurbished, baby grand piano for the music department.
According to M.A.C.K. President Sarah Orth-Desmond, $3,000 was needed to obtain the piano after the Glendale Educational Foundation contributed $10,000 to the cause.
“Teachers have been stocking shelves in their classrooms with books that they buy themselves,” said Orth-Desmond, stressing the necessity of M.A.C.K.’s fundraising efforts, especially in the wake of budget cuts to education.
In addition to M.A.C.K. Night Out, M.A.C.K. also raises funds through a yearly jog-a-thon, e-scrip and other programs. A grant program is also in place in which funds for classroom and school-wide projects can be requested by Mountain Avenue staff, students or parents.