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Red & White Ball to return in family-style format

The Red & White Ball will return this summer in a new community celebration format that includes a picnic-style dining experience, dancing and the opportunity for families, donors and community members to connect and unify in support of Sonoma’s public schools.

This event, Sonoma Valley Education Foundation’s main fundraiser, will take place on Aug. 27 from 5 to 10 p.m. It will be held at its usual site, Sonoma Plaza, but will not feature a gala, which was the defining feature of previous Red & White Balls. The event was not held during the pandemic, but SVEF successfully continued its fundraising efforts online.

“After two years of successful fundraising in a remote capacity, we felt compelled to re-imagine this popular fundraiser and evolve it into a platform that not only better reflects and celebrates the community we serve, but safeguards it from untimely cancellations due to fire season or pandemic-related shutdowns,” said Angela Ryan, executive director of SVEF, in a news release. “We’re thrilled that the generosity of our donors has given us the confidence to host a more inclusive event that helps families, donors and the community at large feel more invested, engaged and connected to our public schools and one another.”

Tickets for the event cost $40—which includes a reusable wine tumbler, complimentary glass of wine, and picnic blanket—but sliding scale pricing will be available to ensure everyone interested can attend. Ticket sales will begin in June.

The Sonoma Valley Unified School District’s parent-teacher organizations and partner organizations—including Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Ecology Center, Sonoma Community Center, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Kimzin Creative and Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance—will have booths highlighting some of the main things happening at schools and in programs made possible by donor support to SVEF. A dance party and performance by local band Funk Fatale will wrap up the event.

“We are beyond excited to keep the elements of this annual event that our community has loved, while also evolving its format to feel more welcoming and inclusive,” said Gail Chadwin, director of development for SVEF. “The nature in which fundraising has progressed over the past two years allows us to reengage the community we’re here to serve and invite families to feel more invested and connected to supporting our schools and community.”

For more information on the event and how to participate, contact Sarah Carroll at sarah@svgreatschools.org.

SVEF was established in 1993 and has since provided more than $20 million to Sonoma Valley public schools through grants to teachers and administrations, sponsored community initiatives and programs such as Summer Literacy Academy and Preschool for All. As the primary fundraising and volunteer resource for SVUSD, the foundation strives to enrich the student experience and help valley youth succeed in the classroom and beyond. For more information, visit svgreatschools.org.

Reach the reporter, Dan Johnson, at daniel.johnson@sonomanews.com.

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