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Foundation holds fundraiser for library and pianos

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

A fundraiser held on campus by the Valley College Foundation raised funds for both the music department and the library.

By Gabriel Arizon, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Valley Star/Gabriel Arizon

A wine-tasting fundraiser was held Feb. 22 in the hopes to raise enough money for Valley College’s Steinway Piano Campaign and the Library Fund.

The LAVC Foundation hosted approximately 52 attendees in the Valley library to enjoy award-winning wine served by the Hoi Polloi Winery, snack on light h’oerderves and enjoy some guitar music performed by Louie Kang, the Broadcasting Club’s vice president. Each guest payed a $50 entrance fee, with the total amount going towards the school library and the music department.

“We appreciate your support, talent, treasure and time, however you can help LA Valley College grow,” said Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez. “You are the difference, the margin of excellence, between an adequate education experience and an excellent one.”

The funds raised will go towards helping the school pay off four Steinway pianos, which were acquired a year ago through a lease-to-own agreement between Steinway & Sons and the Foundation. According to information provided by the Foundation, the school has already replaced 18 of its 22 pianos over the past three years by using equipment funds and buying Boston pianos, which are made by Steinway & Sons.

“The Foundation committed a large portion of money so that we could become a Steinway school,” Foundation President Patricia Ballew said. “Most of the pianos were purchased with bond money, which was allowed, but to become a Steinway school, additional pianos were needed, so we assisted with that.”

With the current pianos it possesses - including the four on lease - Valley has become the 200th All-Steinway school in the world, according to the Foundation. The campaign is looking to raise around $340,000 to pay off the lease, which it is doing by looking for prospective donors to purchase “keys” that are representative of the piano’s 88 keys. An ivory key goes for $3500, an ebony key costs $5000, and a set of three ivory keys costs $10,000. A donor can also sponsor a piano, which can go from $15,000 to $40,000.

“Besides needing new instruments, because ours were pretty old, the thought behind it was if you have the best equipment in the world, hopefully that will attract people to come and use it,” said Valley Music Department Chair Christian Nova. “[The students] love it, of course. Everything’s new, they sound great and they’re not banged up and beat up.”

While the music department will get 90 percent of the proceeds, the remaining 10 percent will go towards the library. Xiao Belendorf, the Valley library department chair, hopes the extra funds can go towards helping the students, like buying pencils and scantrons, and even making posters that can advertise the library’s services.

“A lot of funding we have is very restrictive. We cannot just pay for a nice poster,” Belendorf said. “I’m hoping this event will be the start of something, because we don’t really have many events on campus for fundraising.”

The Foundation held a similar wine-tasting event last year, though this is the first time they held it on campus. Executive Director of the Foundation Raul Castillo hopes that these events will bring in people that can donate money that will ultimately help students.

“We are starting to do this so we can start cultivating relationships and get folks to start donating to the Foundation,” Castillo said. “The Foundation does so many worthwhile things on campus, from awarding scholarships to helping out various campus projects … so we need the money to do that.”

Last year, the Foundation awarded 347 students scholarships that totaled $186,000, with each individual one ranging from $250 to $1000. To find out how to apply and what the guidelines are, call (818) 947-2619.


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