Fundraiser looks to bridge school’s budget gap

CARLSBAD — Friends of Pacific Rim are taking fundraising to a whole new level for its elementary school. On March 16 the nonprofit foundation is hosting its First Annual March Food Truck Madness, which promises an evening brimful with savories, music and the chance to meet a local, prominent sports figure.Friends of Pacific Rim hopes this fundraiser will cushion the financial gap between the Carlsbad Unified School District budget cuts and the programs it offers to enhance the educational experience for kids.

This nonprofit, made up of parent volunteers, support programs such as art, drama, computer lab, Odyssey of the Mind, Mission to Save and the TLC Reading Program.

The monies will also go directly to fund tutors at the school.

“This year, with the growing number of class sizes, we have been providing our school with the necessary money for classroom tutors,” said Theresa Tanita, vice president of Friends of Pacific Rim. “Our hope is for this fundraiser to raise enough money to continue to utilize these incredible tutors.”

These tutors are both credentialed as well as being Pacific Rim mothers.

Ever since 2000, the Friends of Pacific Rim has been at the forefront in offering most of the funding for its fine arts programs.

“With all of the district cuts and changes, we have had to work extra hard to continue to make sure we are able to provide enrichment for our children,” she said. “We have found many creative ways of raising money.”

For starters, the school has published a comprehensive community business directory, hosts a popular Jog-A-Thon, and now, the March Food Truck Madness.

Tanita said that it was their President Sandra Alston, who came up with the fresh, fundraising idea. And everyone thought it was a phenomenal one.

Including scrumptious tidbits, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, a professional skateboarder, will be on hand for autographs. If kids bring their skateboards, Luc Gagnon will be happy to sign them, too.

Tanita describes the upcoming event as a different type of fundraiser because families aren’t buying any tickets. Instead, they’ll sample a variety of food. Above all, businesses serving the meals are donating 20 percent of their proceeds back to Friends of Pacific Rim.

Eateries taking part in the event are Flippin Pizza, Mangia Mangia, Sushi Ninja’s, Two for the Road, Super Q BBQ, Sweet Treats, Tabe, and Espresso Urbano.

“It’s a Friday night and a cool way to have some fun with your family,” she said. “There will be food for every age group.”

Extreme Fun D.J. will be providing some great tunes throughout the evening so everyone, including the children, can dance the night away.

Tanita said the evening is about coming together as a community to raise money for the kids. And it’s their hope that this can be an annual event that families can look forward to every single year.

Tanita thanked Sandra Alston, Peter Johnson, Christina Patterson, and Michelle Bissi for all their help with the event and also the parents who will be there that evening pitching in.

“We really need to thank our amazing friend Trevor Ewing with his wonderful Flippin Pizza truck,” she said. “This amazing event would not be possible without him; he has been instrumental in the arranging of these wonderful gourmet food trucks.”

The First Annual March Food Truck Madness will be March 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Pacific Rim Elementary School located at 1100 Camino de las Ondas in Carlsbad. For more information Tanita can be reached at theresa.tanita@gmail.com.

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