The 14th Annual Puttin’ on the Ritz Fine Arts Gala Fundraiser, the largest student gala in the county, was held Saturday, April 20 at Carter High School. This award-winning Gala Fundraiser has raised over $475,000 benefiting RUSD classroom students and teachers through the fine arts. The money raised is procured through ticket sales and silent auction gift baskets. This year the event raised over $3,800 in sales just from the gift baskets.
Each year the Rialto Unified event team brings amazing and talented people to host this event. This year longstanding FM radio personality Jeff Pope hosted the evening Gala. The event also honored Cherlynn Turan with the Top Hat award. Cherlynn Turan is a 13-year Ritz Silent Auction Chairperson, who is a Special Education teacher at Henry Elementary School. She was so deserving of this honor.
“The Ritz is unique, as many hands are involved in organizing this quality Gala, but the Ritz belongs to the talented students of the Rialto Unified School District, and as long as we have financial needs in the k-12 system for students in the fine arts, we hope to continue this creative, grassroots program that, through generous contribution, helps our hardworking classroom teachers and our dedicated students. It was an amazing evening,” said RUSD Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila.
Students from elementary to high school performed at this annual event. Steven Hernandez, a long time Rialto resident said, “The Ritz event really showcases the talent Rialto has to offer, our kids are amazing!” “The success of Puttin’ on the Ritz, for 14 magical years, is attributed to the countless teachers, principals, support staff, parent volunteers, business partners, and community leaders who donate Silent Auction baskets, buy tickets, and attend to observe some of the most talented students,” said Syeda Jafri, Lead Agent for the District’s Communication Department. “The majestic stage at Carter High School adds to the Ritzy atmosphere. The 14-member Gala Committee works tirelessly to make sure this event sustains its quality and focuses on talent and fundraising.”