Community Leaders Make Strong Case for School District Board to Ease Fund-Raising Restrictions

Foundations, Boosters & Parents plead for adoption of AB 2073

By Bryan Harrison

Mountain House Schools Foundation leaders, and others, came out in force Wednesday, August 2, 2017, in a move of solidarity to convince the Board of Trustees for the Lammersville Unified School District to relax current restrictions on fund-raising efforts for the non-profits.

Corey Strock, President of the Wicklund School Foundation, was first to use his three minutes of public comment. He stated that California law, AB 2073, enacted more than two and a half years ago, provides for the serving of alcohol on school grounds for adult fund-raising activities. He suggested a one year trial whereby each school foundation would be permitted to hold one such event. A test market, of sorts, the trial run would allow the district to review whether the practice could be considered as viable thereafter.

A procession of foundation representatives followed, all of whom echoed Strock's position, and trial run suggestion. Public comments were heard by: Mike Montag, Questa School Foundation President; former LUSD Trustee, Shane Nielson; Vicki Beckman, WSF Board member; Tirzah Stenner, a concerned Altamont School parent; and WSF Vice President, Tristan Chabot. Chabot agreed with the test run idea, but took the argument a step farther, suggesting general acceptance of the new practice for school fund-raisers, and see how it goes.

Nielson made arguably the strongest direct appeal to the board, saying "Give them a year to show you what they can do". He concluded his remarks saying "I would hope that this isn't a function of the foundations needing to prove themselves... listen to their voices".

Currently, no alcohol may be present or consumed on school grounds, regardless of whether students are present. Foundations have had little success with fund-raising events held on school grounds. Montag stated that the last time it was attempted at Questa, they barely cleared $2,000. Compared with the more than $20,000 QSF raised with their off-campus auction, where they had to first dole out some $5,000 to rent a big tent to hold the auction in Questa Park, and off school grounds. Even after that hefty expense, he argued, they made a much better profit than when held at the school, with no alcohol.

The notion of holding fund-raisers at venues in Tracy was addressed, as well. People are not excited by the prospect of having to drive home from such events. Though alcohol has been available at those, attendance has remained weak, Beckman explained.

Ultimately, the issue goes back to the board's Facilities Committee. The committee will bring their recommendation back to the board for a vote at a future meeting. View the statements by all who participated: