Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 6:24 pm | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 

All Saints By-the-Sea Parish School Celebrates Monte Carlo-Style at Spring Benefit

Episcopal preschool in Montecito raises $90,000 for scholarships, programs and supplies at 'Black Tie Super Spy' event at Coral Casino

From left, event committee member Amanda Lee, Holly Parker, event committee member Hayley Carty, and auction committee co-chairwomen Alexis Courson and Dianne Duva at All Saints By-the-Sea Parish School’s spring benefit Saturday night at the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club.
From left, event committee member Amanda Lee, Holly Parker, event committee member Hayley Carty, and auction committee co-chairwomen Alexis Courson and Dianne Duva at All Saints By-the-Sea Parish School’s spring benefit Saturday night at the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club. (Gail Arnold / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

About 140 parents, staff, teachers and other supporters of All Saints By-the-Sea Parish School, an Episcopal preschool in Montecito, celebrated Monte Carlo-style at their annual spring benefit Saturday night at the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club.

The school, at 84 Eucalyptus Lane behind All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. It is licensed by the California Department of Health, accredited by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and fully staffed by licensed teachers.

The event netted $90,000, an impressive sum for a preschool. The funds will go toward scholarships, enrichment programs and school supplies.

During the cocktail hour, guests at this “Black Tie Super Spy” event indulged in Vesper martinis (shaken, not stirred) and decadent hors d’oeuvres on the sunny patio overlooking the ocean and inside in the ballroom, which had been transformed into a Monte Carlo-themed venue.

Andrew Firestone, the evening’s emcee and a parent of an All Saints student, welcomed the crowd as did committee co-chairwomen Cate Stoll and Kandie Overgaag.

Overgaag then introduced school Director Padric Davis as the “CEO, CFO, COO” who is “always there for everything.”

Davis, who has served the school for more than 20 years, thanked the parent council, which “does absolutely wonderful things” including providing iPads for every classroom. This allowed the children to watch a live feed of nesting baby eagles on Santa Cruz Island and other age-appropriate valuable presentations.

She also thanked “the best staff in the whole wide world” and noted that a person “can’t be a preschool teacher unless you love what you do and so we love what we do.” That teacher enthusiasm was on all full display throughout the evening.

With James Bond theme music playing, Davis called all of the teachers up on stage and proclaimed to the audience, “These are the teachers who love your children.” The audience responded with wild cheers and an extended standing ovation.

Next, the Rev. Aimée Eyer-Delevett, the rector at All Saints Church and a parent of an All Saints alumna, generously reached out to the audience. She noted that she realized there were guests at the event of other faiths, and “while you may or may not recognize me as your priest, I want you to know that I see you as my people, and if there is anything that you or your children need, that we are here for you and that I consider you to be part of the people that I care for.”

“Thank you for being here and for letting me be your priest — whether you claim me or not,” she said.

All Saints Parish School Director Padric Davis, center, with teachers, from left, Yolanda Marks, Sandy Boneck, Jennifer Tucker, Susan Endow, Julie Smith and Cindy Hadidian at Saturday’s benefit.
All Saints Parish School Director Padric Davis, center, with teachers, from left, Yolanda Marks, Sandy Boneck, Jennifer Tucker, Susan Endow, Julie Smith and Cindy Hadidian at Saturday’s benefit. (Gail Arnold / Noozhawk photo)

Not only did Davis and Eyer-Delevett offer these warm welcomes and thank yous from the stage, they also strolled arm-in-arm from table to table greeting the parents during the dinner hour. While they are both very down-to-earth, they received celebrity-like receptions from the grateful parents.

A touching video was shown of various class scenes that brought smiles and laughs to all in the room.

From the sense of camaraderie displayed at the event, one would think the parents were the ones who spent hours together each day. Davis explained to Noozhawk that All Saints is a special place that fosters a sense of community.

Parents don’t just drop their kids off in the morning, but rather come in and socialize, she said. Moreover, many of the teachers are former parents with a long history with the school.

Guests enjoyed a watercress, fennel and frisée salad, petite filet medallions and truffle fries, and a tarte tatin a la mode.

After dinner, Firestone switched to his auctioneer role and fired up the crowd by talking about the “amazing” school. He related how his son “was so prepared for the next stage of his education because of the teachers and the environment that he had at All Saints,” and he emphasized how the school is dependent on these fundraising efforts.

The crowd responded with generous paddle raises and bids for auction items. There were separate paddle raises for Jon Brady’s music program and for scholarships. Auction items included luxurious vacation stays and other experiences. An extensive silent auction remained open throughout the night.

When the auction wrapped up, tunes from the DJ began and many leapt straight to the dance floor. Others sauntered onto the patio to try their luck at one of the gaming tables. The party continued well into the night.

The teachers at All Saints use various styles of instruction to appeal to different types of learners — kinesthetic, visual, auditory and tactile. Although students are there for only three years, they pass through five levels of curriculum during the period, each with its own age-appropriate focus.

Davis gets regular, satisfying feedback from the private and public schools that her students attend upon leaving All Saints.

“They can tell who the All Saints children are because they understand how a classroom works,” she said.

In addition to offering scholarships, the school gives to the community in other ways. The children visit elderly residents at the Friendship Center across the street, and put on holiday performances there as well.

The school has a Thanksgiving food drive through which it donates more than 700 pounds of food each year, and during the last holiday season, the school sponsored eight families at CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation).

Click here for more information about All Saints By-the-Sea Parish School, or call 805.969.4946.

Noozhawk contributing writer Gail Arnold can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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