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Eat pancakes, raise funds for special education school
MISSION VIEJO – Spend $3 for a plateful of pancakes later this month, and help out the students at Esperanza Special Education School.
The school's PTA and the Mission Viejo Rotary Club are sponsoring an annual pancake breakfast, hoping to raise at least $25,000 to fund a variety of programs and needs at the school.
The breakfast is set for 8-11:30 a.m. April 29, and will include live music, an obstacle course, clowns, face painting, miniature horses and children's activities.
Esperanza was established in 1973 and provides students with disabilities ages 12-22 with social-skills and vocational training, adapted physical education, and speech and language therapy among other services.
Community-based instruction – real-life experiences like going to the farmers market, buying fruit and vegetables, and coming back to the school to make a recipe – is central to the students' long-term success, Principal Starr Avedesian said.
Trips like that are only possible because the school – with the community's support at previous pancake breakfasts – has been able to purchase vans, offsetting the cost of busing and supplementing the use of public transportation.
"The whole goal ... is to increase our students' access to the community," Avedesian said. "We want to really explore our community."
The pancake breakfast is the school PTA's signature fundraiser, and this year the focus is raising enough money to purchase a fitness playground customized to the students' ages and ability levels, Avedesian said. Funds also will be used for assemblies, transportation costs, computers and more, according to a letter to supporters.
Organizers are seeking family and company sponsors for the breakfast who can contribute $250-$5,000. Company logos or family names will be displayed on special pancake breakfast T-shirts and online.
In addition, donations of products, services or gift certificates are being sought for a silent auction and a drawing. There is also a raffle with a grand prize of a three-day, two-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point. Tickets are $2 each or six for $10. They may be purchased in advance at the school, 25121 Pradera Drive, or at the breakfast.
For contributions, sponsorships or tickets to the breakfast, call 949-830-5740.
Contact the writer: 949-454-7377 or firstname.lastname@example.org