The Los Alamitos Education Foundation (LAEF) crowned its king on February 28 at a small outdoor gathering in the central courtyard at the Los Alamitos Unified District Office. LAEF’s 2021 royal is Dr. Gregg Stone, who is currently serving as the Interim Principal at Los Alamitos High School. Dr. Stone was appointed by the LAEF Board to be crowned king and serve as LAEF’s royal ambassador for the year due to his 21 years of service to LAHS and his coming out of retirement to step in as principal in the midst of the pandemic.
The event marked the end of LAEF’s Fundraising February for Los Al Kids campaign, which raised over $150,000 by asking each Los Al family to contribute $50 or more to help overcome a large funding loss during 2020. In addition to donations, funds were also raised through business sponsorships and an online auction featuring over 75 donated items.
The donations will fund four areas that support all Los Al kids. LAEF supports mental health and wellness in a variety of ways and donated $60,000 over the past two years to build the Well Spaces at Oak and McAuliffe Middle Schools. Free mental health/wellness programs are now in development for kids across all grade levels. Funds will keep the free elementary after-school world language classes operating and will fund fee-waiver scholarship for families in need. Thanks to this support, LAEF will also keep the STEAM initiative in place and plans to revamp school fairs to create a competition with cash prizes for winners.
Carrie Logue, LAEF Executive Director said, “We are completely grateful and overwhelmed by the amount of support we received this February from the community and our generous sponsors. With all the difficulties of 2020, we had no idea what to expect, but that Los Al heart and pride has certainly shown through. We are floored by the generosity of our community.”
Top sponsors City National Bank, SXS Industries, Southland Credit Union, First Team Real Estate – Philip DeMatteo, and Clean Wave Express Car Wash were on hand to celebrate LAEF’s 2021 King. Dr. Stone was crowned by last year’s queen, Los Alamitos USD retired superintendent Dr. Sherry Kropp. A golden yardstick “scepter” was presented to King Stone by LAHS Nurse Cassandra Palacios along with heartfelt words about how he has gone above and beyond during this tumultuous school year. The yardstick is their tool of choice in ensuring that student desks are properly distanced. School Board President Marlys Davidson shared thoughts from many seasoned LAHS employees during her remarks and Superintendent Dr. Andrew Pulver relayed the story of Stone’s gracious and selfless attitude when faced with the decision to take the helm at LAHS for the year. The speeches were capped off with a beautiful rendition of the Beatles’ song Yesterday by LAHS senior Jack Munson.
LAEF Board Chair Tom Lent remarked, “I am truly amazed by the ongoing success of LAEF’s annual fundraising campaigns. Our fundraising has totaled more than $1,200,000 over the past eight years. These funds will continue to benefit all Los Al students and I’m thrilled that LAEF’s programs can continue uninterrupted due to our community’s support.”
LAEF is the non-profit partner of Los Alamitos Unified School District. LAEF enhances educational excellence by providing after-school and summer enrichment programs to children in grades Pre-K to 12. LAEF provides significant funding for STEAM instruction and mental health, as well as igniting new programs and providing valuable resources to impact all students. For additional information on LAEF, please call (562) 799-4700 Extension 80424 or visit www.LAEF4Kids.org.