Sharefest’s Grad Night Gala Raised Nearly $400,000!
Sharefest was pleased to welcome Melanie and Richard Lundquist and many other distinguished guests to its annual fundraising gala on Saturday, October 1 where we raised almost $400,000! Melanie and Richard Lundquist have been instrumental in Sharefest’s work with disadvantaged youth in Continuation High Schools throughout the area. “Sharefest embodies the kind of organization we are honored to support,” shared Melanie Lundquist. “I firmly believe partnerships such as the ones Sharefest has built with LAUSD are the solutions we need to elevate our most vulnerable youth from poverty to help them reach their full potential.”
For over 19 years, Sharefest has gained a name in the greater LA area by giving youth the skills, resources, support, and connections they need to mobilize from poverty. “Programs like our Workforce Development Program and College Access Program provide mentoring, credit recovery, access to trauma-informed care and connections to opportunities within the trades or community colleges,” explained Chad Mayer, Executive Director of Sharefest. “Our organization relies on the partnerships of our school systems, community leaders, businesses and supporters like Melanie and Richard to provide access to better futures for our amazing youth.”
The 2022 Grad Night Gala featured Polynesian Performance Art, a 12 piece live band, online and live auctions and inspirational stories from Sharefest youth. Generous area businesses lined up to sponsor the event including Fielding Electric, Wedgewood Homes, Valero, Marathon, Balfour Beatty, Olson Duncan, Watson Land Company, Alaska Airlines, Phillips 66, Councilman Joe Buscaino and dozens more. Businesses and supporters alike were all on hand to experience moving speeches from former Sharefest students who are now onto their next phase in life. One speaker is Lorenzo who is a current LAUSD employee with Avalon Continuation High School, and met Sharefest as a student there. “We are all called to make a difference in our world, and I believe programs like Sharefest help bring callings to young lives and spark inspiration in the souls of students like me.” We are proud to have Lorenzo on our staff guiding the lives of future Sharefest students. The audience also heard from Doris, who also attended Avalon, and is now well into her junior college education at Harbor College. About Sharefest, Doris had this to say “For once I can actually say I am proud of how far I have come and I can say Sharefest made a huge impact on where I am today. They have helped me educationally, financially, and mentally!”
Fielding Electric Vice President and Gala Committee Chair, Cindi Krippendorf shared, “We put together an exciting evening to celebrate all of Sharefest’s past, present and future graduates. It’s was an honor to join so many others who see the potential in our youth and are willing to invest in Sharefest to transform more futures.”
We are grateful to all who attended the Grad Night Gala and who donated to make our work possible!
Sharefest exists to empower underserved youth to transform their futures and become leaders of collaborative community change. Sharefest programming helps keep Continuation High School students enrolled in school through graduation, achieve significant increases in their GPA and develop social skills that help them reach college or career goals. In the 2021-2022 school year alone Sharefest served hundreds of youth and watched 98 students achieve their goal of high school graduation.