More than 1,000 guests are expected at the annual Golden Bear Bash in Upper Arlington to enjoy live music, culinary offerings from local restaurants and live and silent auctions.
Sponsored by the Upper Arlington Education Foundation (UAEF), the event will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31, at the Tremont Center, between Tremont and Redding roads.
"We are returning to the heart of Upper Arlington -- the Tremont Center," said Joanie Dugger, executive director of the foundation. "We received fabulous feedback from our guests that the Tremont Center is the perfect gathering spot to come together and support our students and our schools."
Dugger said the event sold out last year at 1,000 guests.
"We decided to expand our party space and secure more wonderful food donors, who are serving up the best food from all of Upper Arlington's favorite restaurants," she said. "So we may host up to 1,250 friends of education this year."
Reservations may be obtained online at goldenbearbash.com and cost $60 per person. Sponsorship packages range from $300 to $10,000.
Dugger said a new event this year is a raffle for a two-year lease on a new Ford Mustang convertible, donated by Germain Ford of Columbus.
"Only 250 raffle tickets will be sold at $100 each and the winner will be decided by a reverse raffle, where the last ticket pulled is the lucky winner," she said.
Those interested in buying raffle tickets should email Dugger at Bearalums@aol.com.
Entertainment will feature All Keyed Up, an all-request duo who perform on dueling pianos, and comedian Dan Swartwout, a 1992 Upper Arlington High School alumnus.
Dugger said Swartwout has performed at comedy clubs across the country, was selected for the Boston Comedy Festival, won the Carnival Cruise Comedy Challenge and is the studio audience host for the Oho Lottery game show Cash Explosion.
With a Golden Bear Bash reservation, people can sample dishes from Brio Tuscan Grille, Piada Italian Street Food, Carsonie Stromboli and Pizza, Moretti's of Arlington, Nicola Restaurant and Bar, Skyward Grille, the Wine Bistro and others.
She said last year's bash raised $119,000.
"The UAEF was able to be the lead gift of $15,000 of a $30,000 project the PTO initiated at Upper Arlington High School," she said. "Computer space is at a premium, so the PTO worked to alleviate that problem by purchasing a mobile Apple computer lab to serve all four grades at the high school."
Dugger said the foundation also partnered with several organizations to rebuild the Windermere playground.
"The new equipment is now suitable for the hearing-impaired population at Windermere," she said. "The materials selected do not cause static electricity to build up, which can cause damage to the electrical component of cochlear implants."
Other projects supported by UAEF funds include the Bears to Beijing gala; Hastings Middle School's "Third Space" project, where the furniture and equipment in the commons space were enhanced; and "Kindness Kits" for Barrington fifth-graders, "intended to promote the school motto of Work Hard Be Kind, which will inspire and empower students to make safe and kind choices," Dugger said.
She said the foundation has tried to extend its reach into the community.
"We've welcomed back donors who have been loyal to us for many years and each year we make new friends," she said. "This year, especially, we are welcoming even more young families into our giving circle and are thrilled that they understand that their children will be the ones who are benefiting."