In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and an ongoing devotion to improving local education by inspiring community good will, the Morgan Hill Teachers Aid Coalition raised thousands of dollars for school supplies at the annual “Chocolate and Wine for Valentine” fundraiser.
The “Valentine Fancy” party, held Saturday at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center, drew an array of parents and teachers, as well as community leaders from the Morgan Hill Unified School District, City of Morgan Hill, Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club, according to TAC spokesman Jon Hatakeyama.
Attendees sipped on local wines from Clos La Chance, Fernwood Cellars, Guglielmo Winery, Martin Ranch and Morgan Hill Cellars, and noshed on appetizers from Morgan Hill restaurants Mama Mia’s, Noah’s Bistro, Rosy’s at the Beach and Ricatoni’s.
Sweeter offerings, also from local vendors, complemented arts and crafts displayed by local artisans, Hatakeyama said. Strolling violinists even wandered the crowd, connecting all the Valentine themes seamlessly.
"What a fun way to see some friends, have a spot of wine and food while contributing to our youths' education by supporting their teachers," said Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate, who attended the fundraiser.
The purpose of the event was to help Morgan Hill Unified teachers purchase basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, Kleenex tissue and other essential supplies, Hatakeyama said. Teachers are otherwise required to purchase these items out of their own pockets.
The TAC was formed in 1999 to “help lessen the classroom supply burden of our local teachers,” Hatakeyama said. Each year, funds raised by TAC go toward a semi-annual school supply giveaway. The next giveaway will take place March 5 at El Toro Elementary School.
Organizers estimated this year’s “Chocolate and Wine” fundraiser raised about $8,000 through ticket sales as well as a silent auction for a football signed by San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith, a painting by Thomas Kinkade and numerous other items.
“The success of this event will make it possible to give our teachers a raise in spirits, and an offset in their pocket books when the Teachers Aid Coalition conducts their next school supply giveaway,” Hatakeyama said.
About 140 people attended the fundraiser, according to Hatakeyama.
Hatakeyama noted the sponsors who helped make “Chocolate and Wine” such a success include Paramit, Anritsu, Gavilan College Ambassadors, and Thomas Kinkade Co. Other significant contributors include Anaerobe Systems, BookSmart, Jon Y. Hatakeyama, DDS, Maury Harwood, MD, Erika Gabor, DMD, Quality Glass, Johnson’s Lumber, Don Nguyen, DDS, Kajiko Nursery, KBAY-94FM, South Valley Disposal & Recycling, Stephen C. Smith, DDS, Louis Tieu, DDS, MD, Tommy Tong, DDS, Thinker Toys, and Mushroom Mardi Gras.
For more information on the TAC, or to contribute to the upcoming and future school supply giveaways, contact TAC president Roger Beaulieu at email@example.com.