Friday, December 13, 2013

Help us get to the Hollywood Bowl

I'm about to ask for money for my kids' school. If this type of thing upsets you, you might want to look away, turn off your computer, block me or erase me from your contacts list. (But don't un-invite me to your holiday party – I promise not to ask for money there, only for your rum ball recipe.)

As you know, my girls go to Hollywood High School. Like most public schools in the inner city, they are constantly strapped for funds. Adding to their woes this year was the decimation of the Performing Arts Department, when another school (with much deeper pockets) swooped in and hired away the musical director, the technical director and took many of the top-performing kids with them. It was brutal, like that scene from Kill Bill, only worse. (Okay, not worse. but it felt like it.)

One of the things Kira's looked forward to from the day she started at Hollywood High was to graduate at the Hollywood Bowl. It's a time-honored tradition with the school, and they are one of only two schools in the city who have the honor. The Bowl only charges one-dollar for the event, but a staggering $22,000 is needed to cover additional costs like staff and security.

In years past they've had corporate sponsors who helped cover the Bowl cost, but no sponsor has materialized this year. The kids have been doing fundraising, but a majority of the families at the school have limited means. Many of them are struggling to meet the basic graduation costs of their cap and gown, senior dues, etc. 

Right now there's the possibility that they may be the first Hollywood High senior class ever not to graduate at the Bowl. As of now they have only raised $8,500 towards this goal, and a deposit of $15,000 is needed by next week, December 20 in order to secure the location for their graduation in June 2014.

I know, it doesn't rank with some of the other more dire needs of the school district as a whole. But these kids saw their senior year – one of the most significant periods in their educational journey – get yanked out from under them. They go without what a lot of other affluent schools have throughout the year, and it would be great to be able to give them this one last sendoff, and to let them have the opportunity to perform from the Hollywood Bowl stage. They would be so grateful.

So, we're appealing to friends, family, and associates and asking: Are you, or do you know, work for, associate with, drink cocktails with, are married to, have BFF status with, or are owed a favor from, any corporate sponsors or big-hearted supporters of public education who could come through for us and help us meet this deadline? Right now we're only looking to raise the additional $6,500 needed to meet our deposit amount – that will give the kids a few more months to raise the final balance.

What will they get in return? A private performance by Kira and some of these talented kids. A big shout-out at the graduation. A prominent mention in the program. And most of all a deep, heartfelt THANK YOU from a bunch of grateful teens.

Thank you for listening.

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If you would like to share this to get the the word out, please use the hashtag #HollywoodBowlGrads
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