By Soncee Partida
Horizon Prep parent Lance Morgans nearly had a goldfish for dinner at the school's Annual Auction and Fundraiser on March 20. "Can I eat it? Can I eat it?" he kept shouting to sideline-pacing event planners, already elbow-deep in the table centerpiece.
Recruited by auctioneer Bill Menish right off the bat, each table at "An Evening by the Boardwalk" suddenly faced a homegrown auctioneer, hocking the cylinder centerpiece, home to a trio of goldfish. A lively cross-ballroom contest broke out as each rookie auctioneer fought hard for the honor of selling to the highest bidder.
"I've got everyone at the table ready to pay $100 apiece if I eat it!" Morgans pleaded.
Much to his chagrin, the goldfish won a pardon and swam away with his life.
Horizon Prep parent Laura Paisley walked away from the night with a new best friend - a six-week-old Red Rob Hound puppy.
"I was overcome by love for this little girl the first time I saw her," Paisley said. "There was no question she wasn't going home with me."
1940s Big Band music, Coney-Island-style ticket booths and a lively silent auction greeted guests with everything from handcrafted classroom projects to a red Corvette Stingray, made possible by an anonymous donor.
Making their way across a wooden-planked boardwalk to find their seats at dinner, patrons were caught up in the whimsy right through the end of the night - complete with root beer float and "Wonka-style" chocolate bars containing a "Golden Ticket" for a free hot lunch for a year.
"This is a huge success," event coordinator Sara Hobbs said. "Even though we don't have final numbers just yet, we're thrilled with the outcome!"
Supporters are literally growing Horizon Prep, as funds raised will be used to develop a Learning Garden, enriching curriculum with hands-on science, an outdoor public address system that will assist in campus safety, athletic events and assemblies, and the establishment of a Bursary Fund.
Horizon Prep was recently voted best preschool and best private school by the readers of Ranch and Coast Magazine, and currently serves 425 students preschool through eighth grade.