by: DAVID F. ASHTON - 400 guests attended this annual dinner and auction, which organizers say does much to increase the educational opportunities at Cleveland High School.Some forty volunteers from the Cleveland High School PTA and the Cleveland High Foundation pulled out all the stops – and rolled out an entertaining evening on March 2nd, with their annual auction and dinner at the Oaks Park Dance Pavilion.

This year’s Hollywood-themed event, “A Night on the Red Carpet”, offered both live and silent auctions, hors d’oeuvres, and a full lasagna dinner arranged by volunteer chef Kathy Gustafson and her crew.

“This event is very important because the Portland School District allows school organizations to fund activities,” explained this year’s Auction Chair, Jack Frank, as the silent auction portion of the evening got underway.

“It’s a joint project of the Parent Teacher Association and the Cleveland Foundation,” Frank told THE BEE. “Although I’m from the PTA side, the Foundation is very involved in the planning and execution of this event too.”

Specifically, Frank reported, some of the funds raised help the foundation to fund staff positions at the school. “And, some of the money goes to buy textbooks, to provide field trips, to buy lab equipment – allowing the school to the use its allotted budget for staff positions. It’s hard for me to think of anything more important than having our schools get what they need.”

Bidders circulated around tables laden with hundreds of silent auction items. Then, after dinner, a live auctioneer sold items ranging from the exotic – such as Sailing the San Juan Islands and a “Mushroom Foraging Experience” – to the practical: a reserved parking space in the CHS parking lot.

In the end, Frank reported, this year’s gala raised more than $50,000 to help further the education at Cleveland High.

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