On Sep. 23, positioned adjacent to the “No Alcoholic Beverages” sign in Ashton Park, stood hundreds of well-dressed adults sipping wine. Drinking for a good cause, at least. After obtaining special permission, the San Juan Education Foundation held the annual Evening with the STARS there, a fundraiser which helps finance science, technology, and art programs.
Attendees were given a rigid timeline in which they were required to park and check in at Rio at 4:45. They were then driven in school buses over to Ashton, where patrons could peruse exhibits of projects partially funded through the foundation, bid on the silent auction, and sample food and wine.
One of the displays from Rio was the art translation program.
Senior Leah Ezekiel smiled as guests looked at her painting which was inspired by a poem, and it was then interpreted into a musical score.
“It felt great to watch all the different types of art come together to make something new,” said Ezekiel. “The multimedia aspect of the program makes me feel like I am part of something larger than myself.”
This translation was described as the epitome of what arts at a school should be.
The event organizer, Pamela Lapinski, said that she hopes “to see this sort of model for art implemented throughout the district.”
She added, “It’s truly great what they have going on in this program here at Rio.”
The other exhibit from Rio was from the robotics class.
Students answered questions about the unique program at their booth, which boasted an elaborate project of robotic engineering.
Around 7 p.m., guests were bussed back to Rio for a program at the new theatre.
The next major fundraiser for the foundation will be the Race for the STARS on Apr. 22.