The Los Alamitos Education Foundation (LAEF) is proud to announce that the 2022 Royal Gala king honoree is Dave Appling! Last month, the LAEF Board of Directors officially selected Appling, who is a Board Member Emeritus and a Past President of LAEF. Mr. Appling will be crowned king at the LAEF Royal Gala on February 11 and will serve as the LAEF royal ambassador for the year.
LAEF’s signature fundraising event, The Royal Gala, will return this year after having to be replaced by “Fundraising February for Los Al Kids” last year due to Covid. This year, LAEF is excited to combine both events. The Royal Gala will become a celebratory component to the month-long campaign to raise money for important programs for Los Al kids. Along with the Gala, the campaign will feature an online auction where anyone in the community can participate.
Dave Appling is an important contributor to why LAEF is still in existence nearly 40 years after it was originally established. His ties to LAEF and the community are very strong and his support for Los Al kids dates back to the mid-eighties. Appling served as President of LAEF from 1995-2008 but began supporting LAEF fundraising efforts in the ’80s with a fundraising campaign to modernize and create the Performing Arts Center at Los Alamitos High School (LAHS). He supported efforts to pass a school bond measure in 1990 to improve and maintain school facilities. In 1995, he helped launch a three-year fundraising campaign for technology improvements across the district.
Under Dave’s leadership, which involved district administration and many community volunteers, the campaign raised $750,000 and was matched by the state to meet the $1.5 million goal. He took on an additional successful fundraising campaign in the mid-2000s, raising $300,000 to support technology across the LAHS campus. Appling worked with the district to keep LAEF’s 501(c)3 active until new leadership took over in 2008. He remains a LAEF Board Member Emeritus and he and his wife, Diane, are active LAEF supporters and donors.
Beyond LAEF, Appling has served as Founder and President of the LAHS Football Foundation, served on the Los Alamitos Youth Center Board and was a Director of the Rotary Interact Club at LAHS. Appling’s connection to the community runs deep as shown through being awarded the Los Alamitos Chamber’s Man of the Year in 1994 and the Cypress College Americana Award for Los Alamitos’ Citizen of the Year in 1999.
“LAEF would not be where it is today without the commitment and dedication of Dave Appling. His tireless efforts to fundraise for Los Al kids and stay engaged and connected with the community is something to celebrate. We are so excited to honor him,” said Carrie Logue, LAEF Executive Director.
All proceeds from Fundraising February for Los Al Kids and The Royal Gala will help LAEF fund the construction and interior design of a brand-new Wellness Center at Los Alamitos High School. As with the middle school Well Spaces, this area will provide a calm, comfortable space for students to reset and get support from counselors. Mark your calendars for Friday, February 11, 2022, and join LAEF as it honors Dave Appling and raises funds for Los Al Kids. For more information and to purchase tickets to the event, please visit www.LAEF4Kids.org/fundfeb.
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 mental health/wellness and STEAM teachers and instruction, 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.