Paying homage to “The Greatest Show on Earth,” Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, this year’s La Cima Charity Classic was themed “Under the Big Top.” Mike Goff, general manager at La Cima Club, donned ring master attire on Friday, Aug. 18 to greet guests attending the 11th annual Charity Classic.
“This is our own one day open house fundraising event we host every year,” Goff said. “It’s very important to us, because we’re very much into philanthropy and giving back to our community, and this is our biggest opportunity to do that.”
The event raises money for three charities including a local organization and two which are predetermined by La Cima’s parent company, ClubCorp. This year, ClubCorp chose Augie’s Quest, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and Employee Partners Care Foundation, a charity for ClubCorp employees who have fallen on hard times. Irving Schools Foundation was selected as the local charity. The organization provides financial resources to maximize educational opportunities for teachers and students in Irving ISD.
“This year we’re honored to be supporting Irving schools,” Goff said. “We know how important education is and we want to be a part of supporting that effort here in Irving.”
Funds raised for the charities comes from admission tickets, a silent auction with nearly 100 items, and a live auction.
Mayor Rick Stopfer and his wife Melanie attended the event to show their support for the Irving Schools Foundation.
“They have some things in the live auction that are kind of interesting,” Stopfer said. “Councilman Kyle Taylor is going to be serving dinner at your home if you’d like, so I might look at that and see if I can have him serving me wine and food at my house. This is a great event to bring people out. La Cima always does a great job, and it’s always good to support the school system.”
Superintendent Jose Parra felt grateful the Irving Schools Foundation was chosen as a beneficiary.
“One of the wonderful things about this fundraiser is anything that goes towards the Irving Schools Foundation is obviously put right back to the students of Irving ISD,” Parra said. “This is a great way for our foundation to raise funds in a different way, and it’s also a good way for the Irving community to support the other two foundations as well.”
Attendees enjoyed circus themed foods including cotton candy martinis, popcorn and hot dogs. The event offered carnival style games such as a balloon pull and a strongman game. The most popular game of the night was the wine toss, where players tossed a ring over bottles of wine.
“With the Under the Big Top circus theme, we tried to think of fun games you might see at a circus or a carnival,” said Terri Oliver, programs and events coordinator for Irving Schools Foundation. “We have so many fun things for people to do and it looks like everyone had fun.”
The event took three months to plan and had a goal of raising in total over $60,000. By the end of the night, the estimated funds raised exceeded their goal before expenses.
“At the end of the day, what’s important is we have a very captive audience who are getting involved and having a good time,” Goff said. “We want to continue keeping them focused on that spirit of giving.”