We couldn’t be happier with how this year’s Taste of Knowledge turned out. 150 people packed the sold-out event, which featured Spanish tapas and wine, folkloric and ballet dance performances, and live jazz music. By night’s end, we had raised an unbelievable $23,700 for Los Alamos Public Schools! For that, the Board and staff of the LAPS Foundation wishes to thank the many people who made the event such a success.

Special thanks goes to: Amy Hollabaugh for the beautiful flower arrangements; Favorite Brands for their help providing the wines and commentary at the event; Jill Cook for donating her time and expertise to make the live auction such a success; Laura Crucet and her entire team at Pig + Fig Café for the scrumptious tapas and impeccable wine pairings; Karen Easton of LANB for donating her time to help plan the event and coordinate with Favorite Brands and Kokoman Fine Wines & Liquor; The Ryan Finn Quartet featuring Ryan Finn on trombone, Tom Rheam on piano, David Rogers on bass, and Mike Harris on drums for the lively jazz music.

In addition, many Los Alamos Public Schools students and teachers contributed their talents to make the evening extra special. Thank you to LAHS Culinary Arts instructor Becca Jones and LAHS Pro Start culinary students for their invaluable assistance preparing the tapas; LAHS Art teacher Mary Grace and members of the LAHS Chapter of the National Art Honor’s Society, Anime and Van’s Marketing and Design Clubs LAHS students for providing much-needed help with logistics during the event; Catherine Rousculp, Sophia Jeffery and Ellie Oldem for their beautiful ballet performance excerpted from Don Quixote; LAHS student Jenna Espinoza for performing a lovely Spanish folkloric dance and eliciting audience participation; Maddie Ovaska, LAPS Foundation intern and LAHS student, for her help with planning and executing the event; and members of the LAHS Hilltalkers and Key Club for aiding with the important but less glamorous tasks of setting up and cleaning up the event.

Many local and regional businesses and individuals generously contributed monetary or in-kind donations to the event. They are Allure Salon, Bathtub Row Brewing, Bennett’s Fine Jewelry, Blue Window Bistro, Bob’s Bodacious BBQ, Buffalo Thunder Resort, CB Fox, Cottonwood on the Green, Daniel’s Café, Domino’s Pizza, Don Taylor’s Photography, El Parasol, EXIT Realty Advantage, Fuller Lodge Art Center, Fusion Multisport, Jill Cook, LA Daily Post, LAHS Olions, LAPS athletics, LA Tan and More, Los Alamos Golf Course, Nicolás Madrid, Origami, Pajarito Mountain, Papa Murphy’s, Pasta Paradiso, PEEC, Pet Pangaea, Pyramid Café, Quaking Aspen Fine Art, Reel Deal, Richard Swenson, Rose Marie Solomon, Ruby K’s, Sandia Tramway, Sirphey, Starbucks, Uli’s, Vintage Hair Co., Viola’s Restaurant, Windgate Healing Arts, YMCA and Zia Credit Union.

The fundraiser was timely as we had just a few weeks prior received 39 grant applications requesting over $60,000 from LAPS teachers. The funds allowed us to fund a number of the requests, including sending teachers to conferences, providing materials and resources for innovative projects in classrooms, and enabling teachers and administrators to form professional book groups to learn about and discuss new ideas in education.