The Canyon Crest Academy Foundation invites the community to be its guests for its annual gala, “Rendezvous in Paris,” on Saturday, Feb. 25. Attendees can expect to be dazzled by performances from Tony-award nominated performer Susan Egan, Broadway’s original Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” and the longest-running Millie in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” accompanied by 50 talented CCA students. Students auditioned to perform with Egan, who is also directing and producing the show.
This year’s gala, co-chaired by CCA Foundation board members Susan Jentzsch and Kimberly McSherry, starts at 5 p.m. with a dinner catered by Ranch Catering in the school’s learning commons.
After dinner, the curtain rises for the show at 7 p.m. with solos from Egan, solos from students and group numbers of recognizable Broadway hits from shows such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Wicked,” “Hairspray,” “Little Shop of Horrors” and some Disney selections.
As an extra for the gala, a VIP after-party will be held at Dolce in the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch featuring champagne and signature cocktails and desserts with Egan.
The annual gala is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the foundation, which collects donations to fund arts, engineering, technology, the science and humanities, college and career counseling, and athletic programs.
“We are raising money this year for the ‘Big Ideas,’” said Joanne Couvrette, the executive director of the foundation.
To determine the “Big Ideas,” CCA Principal Brett Killeen sent out an online survey to students and parents to ask what they wanted to see at the school that would benefit all students. Couvrette said there seemed to be universal agreement that technology is big piece of what parents and students would like to see — in the form of new Chromebooks. Other Big Ideas include enhanced learning environments such as innovative, flexible and collaborative furniture for the new Building B, the new 14-classroom building now under construction that should be ready in the fall; as well as bringing in more outside experts as guest artists and providing student leadership seminars from UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management.
For the last three years, the foundation’s gala is held on campus at CCA instead of at a hotel or event venue in order to keep expenses low and enrichment high.
Prior to holding the event on campus, the most the galas brought in was $34,000. By hosting events at the school they’ve been able to bring in $80,000 to $125,000.
“I think the model is better,” Couvrette said of using the school’s own “incredible” 400-seat theater as the venue. “And we also decided to let the mission statement of the foundation guide the gala: ‘To enrich the experience of every student, every day.’ We were looking for an enrichment experience for our students and they will be able to put on their college application that they performed with a Broadway performer and learned from her.”
Student Gaby Jentzsch, who auditioned and was accepted into the show, said she is very excited to be able to work with Egan.
“I will be able to participate in a performance with one of my biggest role models,” Gaby said. “I can't wait to meet her and learn about the business from someone who has lived ‘the business.’ I appreciate her willingness to spend time with us to create a show we can all be proud of.”
Tickets for the dinner and show are $90, the VIP seating and after-party tickets are $125. For tickets or more information, visit ccagala.com