BHEF Apple Ball Highlights Need for School Funding

The annual BHEF fundraiser this year asked residents to give as much as possible to city schools.

Hundreds attended the Beverly Hills Education Foundation's main fundraiser of the year, the Apple Ball, at the on Wednesday evening.

Following up on its fall event that featured a screening of the educational documentary  the BHEF gave its ball the theme "Why Wait for Superman?" The theme was chosen to remind the community that "they are their own heroes," according to BHEF Chief Executive Dev Hankin.

The BHEF is a nonprofit group that raises money and pays for extracurricular programs at all five Beverly Hills schools. It pays for additional staff members at the schools, a function that cannot be provided by the PTA because state guidelines prohibit such groups from paying for personnel.

The event was fairly well-attended, said Hankin.

"It wasn't our most crowded year," she said. "But definitely not the worst year either.”

She did not have an estimate yet of the results of this year's ball. According to the financial page of the BHEF website, profits from the ball vary widely. The event raised almost $383,000 in 2009, down from $689,000 the year before and $655,000 in 2007.

The ball honored teachers from all five schools in addition to one Beverly Hills Unified School District administrator and one classified employee. Superintendent Dick Douglas, dressed as Superman, gave out the awards. All honorees wore Clark Kent classes to keep with the theme.

The Apple Ball winners were:

  • Horace Mann School Assistant Principal Dana Findley
  • BHUSD office manager Susie Wallach
  • BHHS social studies teacher Steward Horowitz
  • BHHS director of student activities Loren Newman
  • Beverly Vista School English teacher Elizabeth Akins
  • El Rodeo School technology teacher Philip Babcock
  • Hawthorne School social studies and English teacher Jane Geletko
  • Horace Mann kindergarten teacher Annette Goldstein

This year the ball marked the launch of the One Campaign aimed at quickly raising funds to prevent some previously announced layoffs of teachers and staff. BHEF President Jonathan Price said that each board of education member and all the PTAs and the PTA Council had all agreed to donate to the campaign.

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