The Upper Arlington Education Foundation is gearing up for its annual party to celebrate academic successes and raise funds for local schools.

The Upper Arlington Education Foundation is gearing up for its annual party to celebrate academic successes and raise funds for local schools.

For a decade, the nonprofit Upper Arlington Education Foundation has held a party for 1,250 people that brings in money to support programs, materials and opportunities that exceed the budget of the Upper Arlington City School District.

This year, the Golden Bear Bash will be held from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Sept. 4 and it once again will take place in large tents set up in the Tremont Center parking lot.

Billed as a fun, casual event, the evening will include food donated by more than 20 local restaurants and music by Ohio the Giant, featuring Tremont Elementary Intervention Specialist Bobby Huffman on vocals.

Superintendent Paul Imhoff will serve as the night's emcee and Jones Middle School Principal Jason Fine will stand in as the auctioneer.

Prior to the event, a full listing of items to be available in Golden Bear Bash live and silent auctions is online at GoldenBearBash.com.

At the party, guests bid on auction items in addition to seeing and learning firsthand about how the more than $120,000 the party raises each year benefits students by touring Street Sotheby's "Garden of Grants."

The Garden will showcase projects that education foundation funding has brought to local schools -- things like an Innovation Lab at Upper Arlington High School, a driving simulator that educates students on the dangers of impaired and distracted driving, author and artist visits to schools, Lego education kits and alternative seating for classrooms.

"This is our 10th year of the Bash," said Alice Finley, program and project specialist for the foundation. "It helps us fulfill our mission, which is 'enhance what matters most.'

"We have quite a few designated funds that are set up by families, but the majority of the Golden Bear Bash funds go to our unrestricted funds, which allow us a lot of flexibility in funding materials, programs and opportunities that come up each school year," she said. "A portion also goes toward helping our operating expenses."

Because the Bash sells out each year, tickets are sold in advance only through GoldenBearBash.com.

General admission tickets cost $60 per person through Aug. 25. After that, the price increases to $70 per ticket until they are sold out.

"Because we have 1,250 guests, Arlington Bank is wonderful and they will allow people to come in Friday, Sept. 2, and Saturday, Sept. 3, to pick up their registration packets," said Joanie Dugger, Upper Arlington Education Foundation director. "That allows those people to skip the registration line the night of the Bash."

Although the primary reason for the Bash is to raise money to enhance education in UA schools, organizers said it also celebrates community.

It does so, Finley said, by showing how developing minds can be affected through financial support from community members, but also in the way the event itself comes together.

"We're so appreciative of the Tremont Center's hospitality because we know it's not convenient for us to take over their parking lot for a few days, and this party doesn't happen without our food sponsors, our auction sponsors and our cash sponsors," Finley said. "

"Our volunteers -- everyone from our trustees who are on committees, parents and our students who deliver yard signs, assemble and decorate our space -- make this whole thing work. It's really a wonderful collaboration."

Finley said Tremont Center merchants will remain open Sept. 3, while volunteers set up the Bash. She said most of the center's stores that typically hold Sunday businesses hours also will be open Sept. 4.

Additional information about the party is available at GoldenBearBash.com. Anyone who can't attend the Bash but would like to contribute to the education foundation can do so through the Bash website, or by sending checks to UA Education Foundation, 1950 Mallway Drive, Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221.

More about the foundation's mission and grants can be found at uaeducationfoundation.com.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate