In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “The Great Gatsby,” a novel about wealth, decadence and privilege set in the Jazz Age on New York’s Long Island. That setting of speakeasies, hedonistic virtues and flappers will come to life on May 17 at Roaring Camp as San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School (SLVE) parents present The Gatsby Auction Gala.

Fundraising for schools is a heavy lift, but Auction Gala co-chairs Sarah Rick and Yakeen Qawasmeh are certain that the ambiance of the event will open parents’ pocketbooks to help support a number of programs at the school.

Thanks to the 1925 atmosphere, attendees are invited to dress up in their best prohibition-era finery and eat, drink and dance the night away while supporting the Bobcat Club, which is the PTA arm of San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School.

According to SLVE Bobcat Club President Becca Rubin, the Bobcat Club provides all of the funding for Life Lab staff, supplies and curriculum for grades K-3 and Garden Club for fourth and fifth graders.

“The Life Lab uses the garden and hands-on activities to teach students about science through gardening as students plant—and eat—fruits and vegetables,” Rubin said. “Students have the opportunity to learn about things like garden safety, scientific observations, food chains, composting and nutrition.”

In addition, the Bobcat Club helps to augment the cost of a dedicated art teacher.

“Thanks to Prop 28, we were able to hire an art teacher, but that funding did not provide enough money for our school to cover the entire salary of the art teacher, so we fund the rest of the teacher’s salary and benefits,” Rubin said.

Historically, the Bobcat Club has sponsored the Art Masterpiece program that relied 100% on volunteers, so having an art teacher take the helm for these events is a win-win for students and parents alike.

The Club also funds gaps for music equipment and instruments, campus beatification and improvements, including water bottle fill stations, new plants and a new playground. The SLVE Fun Run is a benefactor of the Club’s generosity, as are staff appreciation events, the We Belong Fair and STEM night.

At the Gatsby event, attendees will be able to enjoy a taco stand dinner, a sampling of delicious desserts created by contestants in a bake-off competition, beer, wine, cider and mocktails. In addition, auction items will include hotel stays, a spa package, wine tasting, sporting event and museum tickets and artwork, and attendees can expect live performance by the SLVHS Jazz Band and a DJ for tripping the light fantastic.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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Christina Wise covers politics, education, art & culture, and housing issues. She has a degree in Communication from San Diego State University, and has lived in the San Lorenzo Valley since 1996. She's a community advocate and a mother of two.


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