Upcoming Solana Beach Ball to raise much-needed funds for classes at district schools

Kelly Patrick, art instructor at Skyline Elementary School, and 5th graders learning about perspective, Van Gogh, and Impressionism.

Every year, children in the Solana Beach School District face the possibility of elimination of their science, art, technology and physical education classes due to deficiencies in state funding. But with the help of the Solana Beach Foundation for Learning (SBFL) and support from the local community, the Foundation raises more than half a million dollars to pay for these programs — collectively referred to as “Wheel Day” by students.

The largest fundraising event for the “Wheel Day” programs, the Solana Beach Ball, will be held this year on May 4 at the Lomas Santa Fe Country Club.

The Solana Beach Ball will host an expected 350 local parents. Aside from the dinner and dancing, parents will have the opportunity to bid on donations of local wares and services and art created by the 900 students in Skyline and Solana Vista elementary schools. The Solana Beach Ball directly supports every one of them.

“We strive to bring high-quality education to all students in the district,” said Patti Malmuth, executive director of the Solana Beach Foundation for Learning. “Aside from funding these classes, this year’s additions to the classrooms include mobile technologies, iPads, new computers, additional PE equipment and science lab materials.”

The Wheel Day name originates from the idea that these classes form the spokes supporting an educational wheel. Through Foundation funding, the students are able to participate in Wheel Day at least one day a week.

“The instructors for art, science, technology and physical education are so important to the classes, and the students,” said Lisa Denham, the principal of Skyline Elementary. “They collaborate with classroom teachers to really bring the best education to the students.”

“Our children in Solana Beach continue to have a balanced and well-rounded education, thanks to the support of our foundation,” expressed Kelsey Holohan, 2nd grade teacher at Solana Vista. “The enrichment classes deepen the understanding that our students have of their grade level content and build a strong foundation of 21st century skills.”

Anyone is invited to attend the Ball, though tickets are selling out. And while it supports a great cause, the Ball is also an opportunity for the guests to have a fantastic evening by offering an award-winning emcee/comedian, a live band, tasty food options, and poolside dancing. New to this year’s event are online auctions, an ocean-themed Scion (perfect for surfing or new drivers), and attendance to unique parties, such as an authentic Boston Clam Bake and a sunset cruise around the Bay. Registration for the Ball, the online auction, a preview of art, and a description of other auction items can be found at and www.facebook/solanabeachball.