Local residents are invited to walk down the red carpet at the Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation's Hollywood-themed "Lights-Camera-Auction" Celebration of Excellence.

Local residents are invited to walk down the red carpet at the Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation's Hollywood-themed "Lights-Camera-Auction" Celebration of Excellence.

The event is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Villa Milano, 1630 Schrock Road.

Guests are encouraged to dress in their best denim and diamonds or even attend as their favorite movie stars, GJEF president Dale Foor said.

"We don't care how they dress; we just want them to come," he said.

Last year's event sold out with 450 people, and a new record of more than $120,000 was generated to support the foundation's effort to promote excellence in education.

Funds raised through admission and live and silent auctions benefit grants requested by staff to enhance educational opportunities.

The eighth annual celebration will feature hors d'oeuvres from local restaurants at the 5:30 p.m. preview party for corporate sponsors. Desserts will complement a special menu prepared by Villa Milano.

Local news celebrity Monica Day will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening's events that include musical entertainment, live and silent auctions and a raffle.

Foor anticipates live and silent auctions with more than 500 items donated by area businesses and individuals.

Big-ticket auction items include a suite for 12 at a Columbus Crew game; a condo for six in the Cayman Islands; a private party from Arnett Howard; a villa for 12 in Mexico; lunch for 14 at Mezzo's, with former OSU basketball player Clark Kellogg and former OSU football player Dee Miller; and a golf outing for 12 at the Jefferson Country Club.

Lew Griffin Insurance has donated a $1,000 Easton shopping spree as a raffle prize, and Benchmark Bank has donated an iPad 2 that will be raffled during the evening.

The foundation is seeking pledges for "Fund-A-Need" to purchase five iPads for each district building.

The Fund-A-Need program was established in 2010, when $21,000 was raised to purchase state-of-the-art microscopes for middle school students. The fund allowed the purchase of flip video cameras last year.

The foundation has funded more than 300 grants totaling more than $325,000, Foor said. The grants support creative ideas submitted by staff and enhance the educational opportunities for district students.

The foundation also has allocated funds in its "Care for Kids" program, which allows district pupil-services staff members to address special needs.

Foor said auction items still may be donated by emailing Angie Gottron at agottron@columbus.rr.com.

Tickets are $50 and include a drink ticket. Last year's celebration was sold out, so the public is encouraged to purchase a ticket in advance.

Ticket information is available by going online at gjef.org. Tickets also may be purchased by emailing Stephanie Lark at sklsas@aol.com.

For further information regarding auction items or tickets, call Foor at (614) 416-0298 or email foord@gjps.org.