Irvine Public Schools Foundation Gala celebrates two decades of great education
It was a night of toasting, dancing and celebrating. The Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) celebrated its 20th anniversary at its 2016 Spirit of Excellence Gala on October 22. Nearly 400 people attended the event at the Kia Motors Headquarters in Irvine.
The organization honored some of its alumni through its Spirit of Excellence Awards. Actor Will Ferrell, a 1986 graduate who has joked in the past about growing up on the “mean streets of Irvine,” was lauded with the Spirit of Excellence in the Arts award, although he did not attend the event. Past honorees who were in attendance included actress and comedian Nasim Pedrad, “No Doubt” musician Tom Dumont and MLB All-Star Mark Trumbo.
The rock band Thrice took home the Sprit of Excellence Award in Music, and the Spirit of Excellence Legacy Award was presented to The Irvine Company.
In celebration of the current students and soon-to-be alumni, the nonprofit honored 17-year-old Ryan Lee with a $10,000 scholarship.
“I am very thankful to IPSF for believing in me and giving me this great opportunity and I don’t take it for granted,” said Lee.
The gala held a live and silent auction raising more than $780,000 in net proceeds, a significant increase from the $425,000 raised the previous year.
“With the generous support from the community, we’re able to help over 33,000 Irvine students achieve their dreams every year,” said Neda Eaton, Irvine Public Schools Foundation President.