Music, art, wine: SPFY Spring Fling draws supporters to Limoneira Ranch

May 26, 2010
Santa Paula News

Student art can show that Picasso-Monet-Sponge Bob Square Pants influence that is all kid, as shown at the annual Spring Fling, an afternoon of music, art, wine tasting and food nibbling to keep the arts at Santa Paula Elementary Schools alive and lively.

The Santa Paula Foundation for Youth’s 2010 Spring Fling held May 16 at Limoneira Park offered a chance to bid on live and silent auction items, enjoy wine, nibble on delicious treats and view art created by area students. The Holly Rollers and Isbell Middle School Condor Chorus and the Isbell Condor Band entertained at the event supporting the arts in the classroom, provided one small grant at a time.

“We’re here admiring the artwork,” said Barbara Kroon of Santa Paula with her daughter Kelly. “Some of it,” Kroon added, “is pretty good.”

Grouped for the most part by subject matter, ladies in hats, animals and even some engineering projects, among others, were drawing admiring glances.

Connie Tushla said she was attending the event to “raise some money for the cause and see good friends.”

“We need more music,” and the overall proven benefits - above and beyond basic cultural advantages - programs bring to students, said John Kulwiec.

SPFY Board Director Marilyn Appleby is a member of the Anderson/Kulwiec Architects and Kulwiec Interiors team, and also teaches art. “We’re here to bid on an orange tree,” said Susan Kulwiec, “and we’re supportive of Marilyn and the arts in the schools.”

Santa Paula Foundation for Youth President Ralph Fernandez said, “We have some wonderful auction items and great, hardworking volunteers” in the crowd, including SPESD teachers and administrators. “The Holly Rollers, Isbell Chorus and band played for us last year and we wanted them back, the park is just great, the weather nice and the views,” courtesy, noted Fernandez, of Limoneira, who offered their park for the event, “spectacular.”

Public awareness of the need of arts in the schools is rising “as money gets tighter people are becoming more aware of the schools,” and Fernandez said the success of schools relies now more than ever on outside support. Last year the foundation awarded about six grants, and Fernandez said the board is already considering allocations - most about $250 - for the fall. Grants are used for supplies, field trips, projects, programs and other needs to make arts-related activities available to all SPESD students.

The nonprofit Santa Paula Foundation for Youth, initially founded in 1993 and revived in recent years, is devoted to providing arts in the classroom that “enrich students, excite their imaginations, enhance their performance in other subjects and instill a lifelong love of music and the arts.”

Fernandez, also a Santa Paula city councilman, noted teachers submit applications “for all types of projects and trips; they just have to be for fine or performing arts. The foundation believes that education in the arts is vitally important in keep children engaged in school,” as well as improving learning and comprehension skills.

Those who would like to discuss funding a grant are asked to call Fernandez at 525-8529. Checks for donations in any amount can be made out and mailed to Santa Paula Foundation for Youth, c/o 139 Arthur Ave., Santa Paula, CA 93060.


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