Claremont Insider: Charity Fatigue

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Charity Fatigue

The Daily Bulletin's Susan Sproul has an article about the Claremont Community Foundation's (CCF)annual Party Parade, which is already underway.

The Party Parade is a sort of serial fundraising event, with various events hosted by different community members. The CCF began a dozen years ago and raises money that it doles out to various community organizations.

Mostly, the Party Parade is an excuse for the elites of Claremont to get together and do what they do best: socialize. Oh, and they do raise a little money, which they give back to charities run by mostly by themselves.

The Bulletin's Sproul puts a good spin on the festivities, though:

The Claremont Community Foundation is throwing a party - well, make that parties - and you're invited.

The foundation has hosted Party Parade for 12 years, and it has proved both effective and successful in raising needed donations and helping to establish friendships. Party Parade 2008 shouldn't be an exception.

Taking advantage of leap year, the fun actually got started Friday with a jewelry design get-together, but the busy schedule of events takes off in earnest tonight with a "retro-metro" dinner described as an "atomic era meal" served at a private hillside Claremont home. And the ball keeps rolling throughout the rest of this month with various parties scheduled. They are as diverse and interesting as the community supporting them.

Want proof? How about tours of several noted Inland Valley artists' homes, a dinner showcasing the talents of Spaggi's chef Henry Gonzales, a night of dancing with members of the National Championship Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Team or a sunrise stroll in Johnson's Pasture? There shouldn't be any excuse for not going to one of these delightful mini events.

The Claremont Community Foundation stands by its name, encouraging the community to get involved with raising money that ends up back in the community, according to Nickie Cleaves, executive director.

The CCF is one of those things that the Claremont 400 love to create - a non-profit that raises money for good causes, so that they can feed their egos. It's really confession for the non-Catholic, absolving the givers of guilt for all the bad things they've done over the years while at the same time getting together for an ego boosting good time.

You wonder, especially with a possible recession coming, if Claremonters will be cutting back on donations to our plethora of local charities: the CCF, Friends of the Library, House of Ruth, the RFB&D, Uncommon Good, to name a few.

The CCF's current board of directors describes itself thusly:

About Our Board

Our Board is broadly representative of our diverse community. Board members commit their time, talent and financial resources in service of their community. New Board members are nominated and elected by the current Board, serving 3-year terms, up to a maximum of 6 consecutive years. Board members are expected to attend monthly board meetings, along with a variety of committee meetings and community events.

Board of Directors, 2006-2007

Suzanne Hall, Chair - (Former Human Services Commission Chair)
Brenda Barham Hill, Vice Chair
Phil Hawkey, Vice Chair
Barry Ulrich, Secretary
Jack Miller, Treasurer
Opoku Acheampong
Marilyn Bidwell
Dawn Grimes
Tim Harrison
Bernadette Kendall
Al Leiga (Former Mayor, 3-Term Councilmember)
Sue Likens
Marshall Taylor (Husband of current Mayor Pro Tem Queen Ellen Taylor)

The CCF's Argus Commission is made up of former board members and includes many former councilmembers and city commissioners, including such Insider favorites as Glenn Southard, Randy Prout, Nick Quackenbos, Karen Rosenthal, Diann Ring, and Judy Wright.

Not all of the board and Argus Commissioners are what we'd consider hardcore Claremonsters, but you have to wonder how diverse the board can really be when they are self-selecting their successors. Sounds like more of that echo chamber effect that has dominated most aspects of our city government.

You can check out the upcoming events on the CCF's website. Sam and Julie Pedroza and Amy and Wade Mathieson host a "Rockin' Lobster" party March 22nd. Diann and Robert Ring host a "Quintessential France" dinner April 5th with Nick Quackenbos and others lending a hand. Those and many other events allow you to see many of the 400 in their native environments. Enjoy!