Spring Fling: Hooker Oak School Welcomes Community to Annual Dinner and Auction

Spring Fling: Hooker Oak School Welcomes Community to Annual Dinner and Auction

The annual Spring Fling, presented by Hooker Oak School, is a chance to support a Chico Floral_art_tree1.epspublic school, hear great music, enjoy delicious food and have a fun night out.

Hooker Oak School’s dinner and silent auction will take place Friday, March 8, 2013 at Sierra Nevada’s spectacular Big Room. Highlighting the event will be music by All Fired Up, a popular Chico-based band covering hits from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and beyond.

“We are so excited to have such a wonderful venue for this event, and to be able to welcome the community at large to join our Hooker Oak ‘family’ at this event,” said Celeste Cramer, a lead organizer for the Spring Fling.

An evening for adults only, the Spring Fling is hosted by Hooker Oak’s parent-teacher organization body, the Parent Advisory Board. The volunteer PAB holds fund-raising events throughout the year, but the Spring Fling is by far the largest. “We hope to raise thousands of dollars that will go directly toward enriching children in the classroom,” said JoAna Brooks, who heads the PAB as co-moderator.

The money raised at the Spring Fling will pay for educational activities and school projects as well as essential classroom resources and basics such as pencils, paper and tissues. Ticket buyers will get a receipt with a Hooker Oak Elementary School tax id for their records.

“Hooker Oak Open Structured Classroom School, a school of choice in Chico Unified, is a Chico gem where educating the whole child to become responsible citizens is a priority,” Principal Sue Hegedus said. “Hooker Oak teachers work endlessly to integrate subjects to assist students in making real-life connections that provide our students a deeper understanding of concepts. Parents work in and out of the classroom as our greatest supporters.”

“Our students learn that they can make a difference in the world by every grade level being involved in some kind of community service in and outside of the school into the Chico community,” she said.

Chico’s community spirit was especially clear in the wake of an Aug. 31 early-morning, human-set fire that destroyed Hooker Oak’s play structure. Just last year, the PAB had used $5,000 in volunteer-raised funds to pay for materials to replace part of the structure’s slide.

“Chico is fortunate to have so many wonderful schools, and the money and emotional support Hooker Oak received was so touching,” Cramer said. “Parents from Sierra View Elementary came out to our school’s spaghetti feed with cash in hand. People from the neighborhood around Arbutus Avenue came by with donations. A local business, Recology, donated $5,000. Some Hooker Oak second graders brought in their Tooth Fairy money – it was just amazing.”

Hegedus said the Chico Unified School District is paying the $9,000 insurance deductible, so donations dedicated specifically to the playground may go toward replacing specially treated fire-resistant bark, salvaging fire-damaged trees, or other related costs. Hooker Oak students were asked what they’d like to see in a new playground, and they chose a structure very similar to what was there before.

Since 1973, Hooker Oak has been the site of a program in which students learn under the Open Structured Classroom philosophy, a learning model that emphasizes the whole child. The school building, at 1238 Arbutus Ave., was constructed in 1948.

Tickets for the Spring Fling can be purchased instantly online via www.ChicoSpringFling.com. Checks and credit cards are among the payment options available. There’s a $5-per-ticket “early bird” discount for purchases before January, making tickets $30 per person. Multi-ticket packages include raffle tickets. Table and bar sponsorships are also available, and donations are welcomed for the silent auction. Yet another option is to “gift” tickets to someone else.

Silent auction items will be on hand at the dinner, where bids can be placed throughout the evening. Past dinner auctions have included donations from local businesses and artisans as well as themed gift baskets, class projects and even parties and recreational activities. Another tradition that will continue this year is the dessert auction of cakes, pies and other treats.

“We hope that, with so many convenient options, people choose to buy tickets early so we can better plan the event and cover some up-front costs,” said Kristie Gerry, a Spring Fling volunteer. “Of course, we’ll welcome guests at the door, too.”

The Chico Spring Fling, hosted by Hooker Oak School, is Friday, March 8, 2013. Tickets and more information are available at www.ChicoSpringFling.com. You can also “Friend” the Spring Fling on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ChicoSpringFling.

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