Taste for Los Al – FAQs

 

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 $3 million.
The majority of that money has gone directly back to booster clubs for their share of ticket sales and the silent auction and raffles, etc.  The balance of the monies have gone to OUR Los Al which handles all logistics, pays all event expenses (fences, tables, port-a-potties, tents, lighting, insurance, etc.) . With whatever is left over OUR Los Al has used for bigger-ticket items — facilities and equipment which benefit multiple activities.  OUR Los Al 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.

After the construction of the Los Alamitos all-weather track, OUR Los Al slightly modified its mission to promote awareness of and support activities in the greater community served by the Los Alamitos School District.  This allowed us to get involved with activities for Los Al TV.

Tell us about the Taste

The annual Taste FOR Los Al showcases the best of the top restaurants in the greater Los Alamitos school community (Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach and parts of adjacent Cypress, Long Beach and Huntington Beach).  For one all-inclusive price, attendees enjoy unlimited samples from around forty of the area’s finest establishments. Beer and wine are also available ad additional cost. 

There is no dress code.  The Taste is held on the back parking lot (behind Sprouts) at the Shops of Rossmoor so comfortable shoes are recommended.

Water and non-alcoholic beverages are also available at the Taste. We also have a variety of vendors promoting their products, a fantastic raffle and silent auction plus music for your listening and dancing pleasure.

It’s also a great place to meet friends AND to people watch!

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.  The fair market value is printed on each ticket. Money paid to purchase silent auction items from individual booster clubs may also be deductible. Please consult your tax advisor for details.

Is the Taste handicap accessible?

Yes – the Taste is on a flat, parking lot suitable for wheelchairs and electric scooters – although the ground can be a little bumpy. The Taste has accessible restrooms. Contact taste4losal@gmail.com for more details.

Can people under 21 attend the Taste?

Because alcohol is served there is no admittance for anyone under the age of 21, with the exception of an infant who is carried by an adult.  Because they have resulted in persons being inadvertently tripped, no strollers are allowed. 

  • Backpacks and purses are subject to search by the professional security crew

• No new admissions to the Taste after 9:00 PM

Where can I purchase tickets for the Taste For Los Al?

Starting in early August tickets can only be purchased through participating booster clubs at Los Alamitos High School.  Beginning in mid-September tickets can be purchased online at www.tasteforlosal.com.  General admission tickets will be available at the door, but ticket prices will be higher than if purchased online.

How can Booster Clubs make money through this event?

Clubs or support groups can make money by at least four different ways.

  1. By just selling tickets.
    • For every $50 ticket you sell, a club keeps up to $30 (if ticket forms are turned in by the first deadline — this year it is September 28, 2018.
    • Tickets turned in by the second deadline — October 5, 2018 — receive $10 back.
  2. Silent auction;
  3. “Gear” table (gear sales, raffle, money tree, etc.);
  4. Sponsorships. If you get a business to be a sponsor at the Taste, 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 $55,000 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 ticket 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:

    1. get a solid estimate of how many tables, chairs, etc to order;
    2. let restaurants know how much food to prepare
    3. make a complete list of who has bought tickets that we can have it at the front gate in case of discrepancies
    4. 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 clubs 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 some volunteers for a single two-hour shift on either Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  It is good for community service hours.

How do you determine who is eligible for a grant?

With money left over after event expenses and booster distributions are paid, OUR Los Al has made some grants to individual booster clubs. Past grants have been for Scoreboards, windscreens, wrestling mats, backstops, baseball locker room, the all-weather track, soccer/lacrosse field improvements, etc.

  1. OUR Los Al Board only makes grants for “big-ticket” Equipment/capital requests.
  2. OUR Los Al will not consider grants to parent groups for annual operating expenses, coaches fees, or small equipment like balls, bats, helmets, uniforms, championship rings, etc.
  3. Grant requests must come from the parents, on club stationery, and include the scope of the project, proper bid documentation (quotes), and other sources of financing.
  4. Booster groups must provide a significant amount of the total required for the entire grant project.
  5. There are no “official” priorities, but we do give weight to a group that participates in the Taste, and towards projects that benefit multiple groups, and to projects that can be enjoyed by the entire community.  

If a parent group wants more information about a possible grant, contact us at taste4losal@gmail.com or  larrystrawther@gmail.com.

If you have any other questions, including Media Inquiries, please send them to taste4losal@gmail.com.