Under the Santa Clarita night sky, members of the community danced, drank and ate, all in the name of raising funds for local schools at WiSH’s Cocktails on the Roof event Friday.
During Cocktails on the Roof, a live DJ performed while attendees walked around to vendors and tried the various food and drinks offered on the roof level of a parking structure at Westfield Valencia Town Center. All proceeds of the event were scheduled to go to WiSH foundation, and the organization’s Executive Director Amy Daniels said the funds would go right back into kids’ classrooms.
“The purpose of this is to raise funding to bridge that gap between what we get from state funding and what our classrooms need,” said Daniels. “So, the money from this goes to help all those things in the classroom that are not paid for by tax dollars alone.”
Every year, the WiSH Education Foundation tries to find a target sector of Santa Clarita education that is in need of financing, and this year, they decided to look at helping fund science and the arts for kids.
“Our funding focus for the year is STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) with an emphasis on the arts,” said Daniels. “Right now, we’re doing a big push for music programs, and we’re continuing the same process of raising money for all our district libraries who haven’t received any state funding since 2008.”
Close to 450 people were on the roof Friday, between general admission and VIP. Officials said the event brings the community together for a good cause.
“It brings the community together to raise money for the WiSH Education Foundation,” said Dawn Begley, chair of the WiSH Education Foundation. “We have such a strong community here in the Santa Clarita Valley, and everyone wants to support the schools. And doing something in a fun way is a great way to do it.”
Those in attendance included community and business leaders, as well as those who wanted simply to support a district that’s close to home.
“When I moved to Santa Clarita years ago, I started in the seventh grade at Arroyo Seco, went to Saugus High School, my three brothers went to Saugus High School, my wife went to Saugus and all her siblings,” said Tony Watson, a Saugus resident who has gone to Cocktails on the Roof for the past three years. “I love the district itself, and it’s a great opportunity for us to get together on the roof of a beautiful parking structure, have some great food and some great drinks, and have a good time dancing a little.”