Thursday, May 23, 2024

CSF Denim & Diamonds Gala & Benefit Auction a Stompin’ Success!

CSF Gala 2022 (Coronado Schools Foundation)

With boots, bling and even a mechanical bull, the Coronado Schools Foundation’s Denim & Diamonds Gala, held at the Hotel del Coronado on Saturday, November 12th, was a two-steppin’ good time! Presented by Donna Salof for the sixth year in a row, the adults wore their best “Denim & Diamonds” to raise money for the kids, with proceeds benefitting Coronado’s public schools through CSF. Guests generously raised their paddles for a record night of fundraising, bringing in over $493,500 for STEM and Arts learning opportunities!

“We are truly honored by the generosity of our community,” said Michelle Gilmore, President & CEO of CSF. “It was such an amazing evening, watching business owners, parents, alumni, and community members support our Coronado students with a record number of attendees, bringing in a record amount of funds raised.”

Guests were welcomed to the Champagne Hour, sponsored by Ken Morris, CFA, CFP® at Merrill Lynch, on the new Southpointe Lawn, and encouraged to bid in support of our kids at the Mini Live Auction, sponsored by Pacific Western Bank. A wine pull, sponsored by The Law Office of Terry J. Chapko, was a huge hit, giving guests the opportunity to win a bottle of wine worth up to $600.

Once inside the gorgeous new Southpointe Ballroom, guests enjoyed dinner paired with a delicious collection of wines, provided by Garage Buona Forchetta. This year’s Live Auction, sponsored by Coronado Bliss Salon, was a show stopper, with the fabulous Dr. Joe Mullins serenading the crowd amidst the amazing trips and unique experiences up for grabs, including the opportunity to Name a Classroom.

Discover Coronado sponsored the Raise Your Paddle portion of the evening, where Robert T. Plumb, Trustee of Vivien Nelson Foundation challenged the guests with a matching gift. This helped bring in over $100,000 to fund classes like iLABs at all four campuses. Innovation Labs (iLabs) provide all students a place to create, collaborate and discover through technology, coding, art and more!

Alan Kinzel wowed guests by hosting a diamond ice luge full of brightly colored signature “Kinzel Cocktails.” Clarke Construction hosted the “Bubbles & Bling” game, where owner Kristen Clarke had fun choosing the three winners, one winning a 2.1 carat diamond worth over $6,000 from Soul Ruby Jewelry! And what western-themed event would be complete without the chance to ride a mechanical bull, sponsored by IVT Yacht Sales?

Guests then took their boots to the dance floor, learning how to line dance from professional dancers, sponsored by Angela Stanley & Surtronics. The band, sponsored by The Clements Group, The Henry and Blanco Cocina + Cantina, was a huge hit, complete with a fiddle and a cameo from CUSD’s own Matt Heinecke. When guests needed a break from busting a move, they could enjoy the complimentary Whiskey Tasting Bar, sponsored by Coronado Tasting Room & Esthetica of San Diego.

Katie Herrick Group hosted the Annual Online Auction, which included packages with donations from generous local businesses and vendors. One of the top items this year was an autographed wooden bat by San Diego Padre Manny Machado. The bidding was fierce, with the Online Auction raising double the amount it did last year.

The night would not have been possible without generous donors including Presenting Sponsor Donna Salof and the fabulous support of Harold Rapoza, President & GM, Hotel del Coronado and the Del Team. Additional sponsors included Thrasher Pest Control, Molly McKay & Associates, Cavanaugh Construction, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Napolitano & Associates, Spiro’s Greek Café, Sweat Circuit, and Nicolls Design Build.

CSF would also like to thank the amazing group of volunteers who helped make the event such a success! To support local public schools through the Coronado Schools Foundation, please visit or call Ashley DeGree, Director of Development, at 619-437-8059, ext. 1. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.


Coronado Schools Foundation
Coronado Schools Foundation
Through community involvement and support, Coronado Schools Foundation raises and manages funds to provide exceptional learning experiences for all Coronado Unified School District students. Coronado Schools Foundation envisions a public school community that provides students an opportunity to learn, thrive and reach their highest potential today and into their future.

More Local News