One of the primary goals for Pinecrest mayors has been to maintain the quality of education at the five public schools located in the Village. That goal has always been a priority for Mayor Cindy Lerner, who initiated the SmARTy Dog campaign last year that positioned beautifully painted dogs on public property throughout the Village. The colorful dog statues were later auctioned off to raise money to equip the schools with smart boards.
This year, Lerner is leading a new campaign — Fashion in the Gardens scheduled for March 1 — and she is reaching out to Pinecrest parents to make the fundraiser a success.
“It’s an opportunity to get all five of the school PTAs to work together for one major event,” she says. “I’m hopeful we are going to be able to sell out all 400 seats, have a fabulous event and make far more money than has ever been made for all five schools.”
Lerner hopes the Fashion in the Gardens luncheon will become a tradition in Pinecrest to support the local school.
In previous years, the schools received money from the Pinecrest Business Association’s A Taste of Pinecrest event. But, this year the PBA is working with the YMCA, so Mayor Lerner decided to create Fashion in the Gardens to replace the lost school funding.
“I had to come up with something quick and easy that wouldn’t strain the volunteers too much or the Gardens,” says Mayor Lerner. “It made sense to plan a luncheon.”
That’s because everyone is familiar with going to a luncheon and planning luncheons. Even so this would be a first in many ways.
“No one has ever done a fundraising luncheon in Pinecrest for the Village community,” Mayor Lerner says. “Every week that we have been meeting someone new comes on board. And they have the contacts with the media or with a caterer or someone who can help.”
Auction items will include the new art animals that are replacing the dogs that were so popular in the SmARTy Dog campaign.
“That was very successful and we are developing the next generation, but instead of using the marketing company we’ve ordered a dozen dogs and cats,” Lerner says. “They’re called Teacher’s Pets and local artists will paint the nine dogs and three cats that will be put up for auction. To come and bid on one of the Teacher’s Pets, you have to buy a ticket.”
The finished Teacher’s Pets will be put on display a week before the Fashion in the Garden event. Lerner says the painted animal statues will have value because they will be limited editions painted by several wellknown local artists, including Phil Fung, Miguel Paredes, Patricia Barrow, Veronica Saenz, Alex Burdett, Leonor Murciano and Patricia Sanpedro.
Tickets to Fashion in the Garden are $50 and there will be seating for 400. Village schools will be responsible for selling tickets for eight tables. Each of the 6,200 students attending Pinecrest schools will be given printed information about the event, with instructions to take it home to their parents and family.
“We’re also looking for sponsors,” says Mayor Lerner. “We have a Platinum level sponsor available for $3,000, while a Gold level goes for $1,500 and Silver is $750.”
The Platinum sponsor will have the option of setting a table or booth at the event to display products; Gold sponsors will get a halftable and recognition and Silver sponsors will be given recognition for their participation.