The Taste for Los Al is a major fund-raising activity for most parent booster groups at Los Alamitos High School and for OUR Los Al, a grass-roots organization started by some Los Alamitos High School parents who wanted to help support activities and improve facilities at Los Alamitos High School.
In late 2000, at the request of Los Alamitos High athletic director Cary Brody, Larry Strawther organized a group of local parents who had experience at multiple levels in the local sports community. The group candidly told Brody what they felt needed to be done and could be done, and the challenges they faced in terms of cooperation with the local high school and the school district. OUR Los Al was organized and developed a set of priorities, based on what would benefit the largest number of students, and thus get the most people involved.
In 2001 OUR Los Al and the girls basketball boosters organized the first Taste for Los Al – based on the idea that by working together all groups could raise more money than by going it alone. And for restaurants it was a welcome single event where they could reach more people with their generosity.
In that first year, the booster clubs sold over 800 tickets and were extremely happy with the event. In recent years the Taste has averaged ticket sales of over 3,000 and gross revenues over two hundred and twenty five thousand.
Overall, since 2001, through ticket sales, silent auction, raffles and gear tables, the Taste has raised nearly $4 million to support Los Al High activities. The same four core people have been involved in every single Taste. Kristal Cheek, a Rossmoor parent and Long Beach teacher, has overseen “game day management” for every Taste, Diana Hill, a Los Alamitos businesswoman and former booster club President and current school board member, has been the booster club liaison from the beginning. Nancy Strawther has handled restaurant logistics and the books for every Taste, and Larry Strawther has overseen it all, receiving credit for work usually done by the others.