Held at the Discovery Bay Country Club, the black-tie-optional event featured live and silent auctions, music and casino tables. The evening raised over $9,000 for the SEED program, and plenty of good will.
"It was a wonderful, fun event," said SEED Board Member Shelly Scruggs. "Although our numbers were down a bit from last year, people still came out and gave very, very generously. It was a great evening."
Top-dollar auction items this year included a three-month membership to the Discovery Bay Country Club, a donated in-home dinner for eight that includes the food, wine and table settings, and a two-hour flight for two in a four-seater plane. The bidding for the plane ride - which originates from the Livermore Airport and includes a trip to the Napa Valley - became so spirited that local resident and pilot Todd Pastorini donated two additional rides on his personal plane.
"Brett Dolnick was the original pilot who donated the rides, but once the bidding got started, the Pastorinis graciously stepped up to offer two more rides," said Scruggs. "It's a fantastic package."
Raffle and door prizes also included a trip for two to Reno, Visa gift cards and a gift basket donated by the newly-formed Friends of the Library.
The SEED Foundation is a nonprofit organization that raises money for the purchase of educational and developmental programs, tools and materials for the Byron Union School District. Founded in 1996 by a grass-roots group of parents, business owners and teachers, SEED has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to provide things such as reading materials, music and supplemental items for the school district.
Dollars raised by SEED go directly to the three elementary schools in the district: Discovery Bay Elementary, Timber Point Elementary and Excelsior Middle School. Proceeds are divided three ways and given to the schools' principals to allocate at they see fit.
"It's really fun to be able to give to the kids who are going to be touched by the community's generosity," said Scruggs. "It's a very committed group."
SEED organizes three large fundraisers each year: the casino night, a golf tournament and a gala event. Next year, said Scruggs, the SEED board is planning to take a different direction and hold a family-oriented fundraiser - "something that will bring the community together for an event that everyone can attend and enjoy. Something that the kids can attend, too."
The Las Vegas-style event was pulled together this year with the help of countless volunteers, including SEED Board members Jody Gianni, Debbie Doll, Kathy Mertens, Shannon Skinner and Rise Hancock, and general members Gretchen Dow, Darlynne Fu, Tina Sunseri and Tina Fagundes.
For information on becoming a member of the SEED Foundation or on volunteer opportunities, call 634-0850.