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October 25, 2011 > Fashion fundraiser to be held at Acacia Creek

Fashion fundraiser to be held at Acacia Creek

Story and photo by Miriam G. Mazliach

Acacia Creek, a senior retirement community located on the 305-acre site of the Masonic Homes in Union City, is sponsoring a fundraiser Luncheon and Fashion Show on Saturday, November 5. Proceeds from this inaugural event will benefit New Haven Schools Foundation's (NHSF) "Innovation in Education" grant program as well as the American Association of University Women's (AAUW) "Tech Trek" program, a science and math camp.

During the fashion show portion of the luncheon, members of NHSF, AAUW and Acacia Creek residents will model stylish clothing, provided by Chico's in Pleasanton.

Mary Jane Hodges, Community Relations Director at Acacia Creek, recalls that the idea for the fundraiser first came up at a Chamber of Commerce mixer in June when discussing that Acacia Creek could be a great event location. AAUW member, Mary Lynn Pelican, talked to some of the residents, many of whom were retired educators. Next, after broaching the idea with Barbara Aro-Valle, the Executive Director of the New Haven Schools Foundation, the fundraiser became a reality. Lois Johnson, an AAUW member, suggested designating their portion of the proceeds to the Tech Trek program in order to provide three camp scholarships.

As Pelican states, "Held on a university campus, Tech Trek is a science and math camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in math, science, and related fields."

The Acacia Creek fundraiser couldn't have come at a more opportune time. This past year, when the New Haven district's school bond measure failed to pass, New Haven Foundation persevered and was able to raise $100,000 to save co-curricular activities (drama, music, sports, etc.) in the schools. Now funds from the fashion show will help support the teacher grant program, which had been in danger, due to the budget crunch.

Aro-Valle explains, "In the past four years the New Haven Schools Foundation "Innovation in Education" classroom mini-grant program has put money directly into classrooms for special activities that enhance and enrich learning activities that teachers often pay for out of their own pockets. Proceeds from the Acacia Creek Lunch and Fashion Show will be used to help fund our "Innovation in Education" teacher mini-grant program. The Foundation really appreciates everything Acacia Creek is doing to help us raise the funds needed to continue providing these grants to teachers," says Aro-Valle.

With tickets priced at $30, the goal is to raise $2,000 for the two worthwhile organizations. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. with a social hour, followed by the luncheon and fashion show, concluding at 2 p.m.

Hodges adds, "Although the Acacia Creek retirement community opened in March 2010, we're the best kept secret in the East Bay. We want to help out the community and also let people know we're here. It's a great place to live, with wonderful service and active, independent residents," she says of the complex which offers a full-range of activities, in a luxurious setting.

Lunch & Fashion Show
Saturday, November 5
11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Acacia Creek Retirement Community
34400 Mission Blvd., Union City
(510) 441-3740

RSVP requested by October 31
$30 per person

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