What is OUR Los Al?
OUR Los Al (Organizations United to Renew Los Alamitos High School) was founded in 2001 by local parents to support activities and improve facilities at Los Alamitos High School.
In 2001, OUR Los Al organized and hosted The Taste for Los Al. That first event was attended by over 600 persons and raised over $20,000. In recent years the Taste has consistently sold over 3,000 tickets and annually raised around $250,000. Since 2001 the Taste has helped raised close to $2.5 million.
The group has paid for an aerial survey of the entire campus, and worked with architects, engineers, district and school officials and booster clubs to organize a master plan for approved potential improvements, including the all-weather track which was opened for use in 2013.
OUR Los Al has also donated money for a new scoreboard in the gym, and facility improvements for softball, soccer, wrestling, lacrosse and the trainer’s room. In recent years we have also helped coordinate more broadcasts of LAHS sports and events on local cable TV and the internet, and purchased some video equipment that can be used by the video classes at Los Alamitos HS.
OUR Los Al also helped establish the Los Al HS Hall of Fame in 2008.
Is a ticket to The Taste for Los Al tax deductible?
Yes. OUR Los Al is a 501c(3) non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible to “the fullest extent allowed by the law.” Our Federal TX ID is 91-2154459.
How can Booster Clubs make money through this event?
Clubs or support groups can make money by at least four different ways.
- By just selling tickets. For every $50 ticket you sell, a club keeps up to $30 (if they turn their tickets in by the deadline);
- Silent auction;
- “Gear” table (gear sales, raffle, money tree, etc.);
- Sponsorships. If you get a business to be a sponsor, your group keeps half of the sponsor money as a commission.
After booster groups get their $30 per ticket, and their silent auction proceeds, where does the rest of the money go?
OUR Los Al uses the balance of the event revenues to 1) pay event expenses (tables, linens, restaurant supplies, electrical, bathrooms, insurance, printing, approximately $41,000 last year); and 2) raise money for school facilities. Since 2001, OUR Los Al and The Taste for Los Al have helped raise and distribute nearly $2.5 million to help Griffin activities and facilities. Over $300,000 of that has been distributed by OUR Los Al as grants for facilities — including $238,000 for the construction of the high school’s new all-weather track.
Do any individuals make any money from The Taste for Los Al?
For years, no OUR Los Al Board member or Taste for Los Al committee member received one cent of salary or money from the event, beyond out-of-pocket reimbursement. In 2009, because the event had grown to such a point, we started paying some people. The money paid is less than 10% of the event revenues.
Why two ticket deadlines with different returns?
The purpose is to motivate clubs to get in their information and ticket counts in a timely manner so we can:
- get a solid estimate of how many tables, chairs, etc to order;
- let restaurants know how much food to prepare
- make a complete list of who has bought tickets that we can have it at the front gate in case of discrepancies
- get paperwork hassle done prior to event, and get money back to clubs sooner
Can a club require its parents to buy tickets?
No. It is against California State law to mandate that a player or parent purchase an item to participate in a public high school activity.
You hand out the tickets to the clubs for free. What prevents people from not paying for the ticket but still using it?
Every ticket is numbered. We know exactly which group is responsible for each ticket, and each club should know who in their group has each ticket. So if an unaccounted for ticket (i.e., one that wasn’t paid for) shows up at the event, the value of that ticket is deducted from the club’s return.
When can we expect our ticket revenue back?
We wait 10 days to see if any checks bounce and for post-event accounting. Once that is done, we will have a check disbursal/photo opportunity in mid-November.
Why do we have to pay $60 for each gear or silent auction table?
The price covers the amortized costs of the table, the linen, the tent and the lighting. The costs are deducted from the payout AFTER the event.
If clubs get someone to donate an item to the silent auction, do they have to complete or sign anything?
Except for setting up the venue — the tent, and the lighting, etc — the silent auction is run totally by the individual booster clubs. We can provide some sample donation solicitation letters but each club is responsible for finalizing its own letter for donations, using their own non-profit ID# and putting down their own contact information.
How are silent auction credit card purchases being handled?
Each group can run credit card purchases through their own credit card set up or use ours (we just pass on the bank/card costs) . (We encourage groups to use credit card programs like Square which can run on smart phones and tablet devices like iPads. Every booster group is assigned a two digit prefix (e.g., Aquatics is 01, Band-Jazz is 02, etc.), and then each auction item gets a 3-digit number. This way, in the case of a discrepancy, we will know if an item has been paid for or not. Clubs MUST use this numbering system, because invariably some person pays at the wrong club, and these numbers are how we get everything settled up correctly after the fact.
Do we need to provide volunteers on the day of the event?
Yes, each club should provide at least 3-4 volunteers for set up during the day of the event. We do it in three shifts 10am-12noon, 12-2, and 2-4. We will also have a select group of volunteers to help with the trash clean-up during the event. Each club should also provide at least one volunteer to help clean the silent auction tent after the event, and break down the tables.
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