Dinner to raise money for school

Newport-Mesa Unified had to lay off a college guidance counselor.

October 01, 2010

Ensign Middle School will hold a fundraiser Sunday in hopes of raising money to offset Newport-Mesa Unified School District cuts, which led to a reduction in the counseling staff.

The goal is to raise about $110,000, significiantly more than the school's usual annual effort.

Allison Olmstead, who's marketing the event for the school, said the dinner and silent auction will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the American Legion Hall on the Balboa Peninsula at 215 E. 15 St., Newport Beach.

Tickets to the "Mix and Mingle by the Sea" are $35 and include an "island-inspired" buffet.

"Middle school is such a quick two years," said Principal Steve McLaughlin. "And we are excited for this new event as a way to bring together our families from our five feeder elementary schools."


Those schools include Newport Heights, Newport, Whittier, Kaiser and Mariners elementary schools.

Normally, the Ensign Fund raises roughly $60,000, but this year it is trying to double the donations to help out with the shortage of counseling while also putting the money toward new programs that would create a smaller learning environment, Olmstead said.

The event's co chair, Amy Manser, said she's really excited about the night, which is going to be casual and fun – and where parents of the seventh- and eighth-graders can get together to "enjoy great music and food while helping the school raise funds to support great programs at Ensign."

A silent auction of a pair of cleats signed by NFL linebacker Clay Mathews. Tickets to the Ducks games will also be auctioned off along with a vacation package at La Quinta Resort, among other great gifts.

Tickets can be purchased by going to Tickets are also available at the school, located at 2000 Cliff Drive, Newport Beach, 92663.

— Tom Ragan

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