Webster fete deemed a success

Despite coastal fog socking in PCH Saturday, the Webster School’s Jog-a-Thon, now in its 10th year, was predicted to successfully raise more than $30,000. according to its organizers.

The Webster school is a public grade school, part of the Santa Monica-Malibu School district.

As a fund-raiser, every year they schedule an annual Jog-A-Thon, where students run a chosen number of laps, earning pledges for each lap. There were two sessions Saturday where some students surpassed the 170 lap figure.

Paul Outen, 8, of Malibu, said he ran 170 laps, “but there were some who ran more.”

The moneys raised by the day’s activities all go to the school’s various activity funds, such as hiring a poet to come to the school to teach the children how to write poetry, or for art supplies and artists to come and show their techniques.

The Jog-a-Thon also featured a number of other activities, including painting, a hop, skip & jump game, a book sale and a silent auction. Each classroom made up it’s own gift basket along different themes, and the baskets were jam-packed with goodies. Most impressive was the “Barbie dream basket,” which must have had at least a dozen Barbies in it.

Local merchants contributed items for the auction, including Malibu Tile, with tiles featuring surfers and surfer wagons.

Two restaurants who pitched in to help were Allegria, an Italian restaurant, which furnished wonderful pasta and Domino’s Pizza.

For those who look for items from celebrities there were several autographed pictures to bid on and some framed posters from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Among other Hollywood memorabilia up for auction were movie scripts, with the highest bid on “The Cider House Rules” script at $35 during one point in the auction.

Among the books for sale was a beautiful copy of Yosemite photos by nature photographer Ansel Adams.

Several businesses offered services to bid on, such as a back massage, or various medical procedures like dental work, or a weekend trip such as one offered to Tahoe. A kayak rental, which normally sells for $98, was bid up to $125, but could have gone for more as the event went on.

Serving as testimony to the affection some Webster students have for their teachers, was a wallboard in which the students could bid for the chance to go out with their favorite teacher for breakfast or lunch. One teacher had no less than eight students registered with bids on the opportunity to break bread with her, with the bids going as high as $100.

Phil Cott, principal of Webster for 10 years, conducted the live-bidding part of the auction, the first time it’s been live instead of silent.

Two other schools in the district have a fund-raising activity that is similar–Cabrillo and Pt. Dume–but the Webster School’s event is well established and thriving and owes its success to the way the volunteers pitch in, with some individuals working hundreds of hours.

The Webster School is so desirable a grade school that there is a waiting list of students. There are currently about 500 students enrolled.

The school, established in 1949, is nestled in a valley below Pepperdine’s Malibu Campus, in a location not noticeable unless one is looking for it.

Ansen Williams, a 46-year-old film director, was at the Jog-a-Thon with his wife, an infant daughter and his 10-year -old daughter. He had much praise for the school.

“It’s been great for my daughter,” he said. “She has so many mentors in so many areas. In fact, I’d say this school is one good reason to live in Malibu.”

Colleen O’Beirnebrydon, past president of the PTA, said that “parents are involved in every way in this school.”

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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