La Mesa Party of the Century Will Be Pricey, Exclusive Affair on Jan. 12

Invitations were mailed to 900 people, but anyone with $100-$200 a ticket can request an invite.

Ending a year of festivities, La Mesa’s Party of the Century will be a pricey affair at $100 a ticket. Some will pay $200 for a VIP reception.

The event—a month from today at the La Mesa Community Center—serves as a key fundraiser for the Centennial Legacy Project. But it won’t be a citywide celebration.

Assistant City Manager Yvonne Garrett, secretary of the Centennial Committee, said 900 invitations were sent, with the mailing list decided by Centennial and Gala committee members. Linda Horrell and JoAnn Knutson are listed as co-chairs of the 17-member party committee.

Among those getting invites were members of the La Mesa Historical Society, who began receiving the trifold invitations at the end of November. An officer of the group said it has about 250 members.

Garrett said the maximum number of tickets being sold was 425-450, but she wasn’t concerned about the party being oversold.

Any deadline for being guaranteed a seat?

“No, it’s a matter of numbers,” Garrett said via email.

Anyone with the money can attend, however. The La Mesa Centennial website provides a form for people to request an invitation. Deadline for RSVP is Dec. 28.

But major donors and sponsors—including representatives of the Barona, Sycuan and Viejas bands ($7,000 each), Drew Ford, EDCO, Sharp Grossmont Hospital and the Glenn Napierskie family—will get complimentary tickets, according to a budget prepared in October.

The $94,640 budget [attached as PDF] suggested that 150 people would have a complimentary seat at the party, featuring a series of musical groups including The Cat·illacs, Peter Marin & Frank Unzueto Trio and the Helix Charter High School Jazz Ensemble.

“Funds contributed to the Centennial Celebration support the Legacy Project, a public art monument and time capsule to commemorate the City of La Mesa’s 100 years,” says the invitation.

Partygoers are promised that they will be “the first to view the artist’s rendering of the Legacy Monument”—although the project by the Dominguez family of La Mesa has been depicted online at La Mesa Today.

With a “fair market value of $60,” the remainder of the ticket price goes to the La Mesa Park and Recreation Foundation, said the invitation. In its 2011 tax filing [see attached], the foundation reported net assets of $516,697 and revenues for the year of $106,220.

Garrett is listed as executive director. Others on the 16-member board last year—none of whom is paid—were President Jim Miller, Vice President Dennis Wilkes, Secretary Michele Tarbet and Treasurer Ernie Linkous. The current board is led by Tarbet, CEO of Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

City Manager Dave Witt is on the board, as well as La Mesa-Spring Valley schools Superintendent Brian Marshall and school board member Penny Halgren.

Décor at the party will evoke each decade of the past century, and period costumes (or business attire) is suggested.

Scott H. Kidwell December 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Just an oversight I'm sure Craig!
Jimmy Sanders December 13, 2012 at 11:03 PM
They already have enough food servers!
Deena While December 14, 2012 at 12:54 AM
I'm in Kevin...BBQ in the baseball parking lot!
Craig Maxwell December 14, 2012 at 01:35 AM
And as close as we've become. It's so...well,...hurtful.
Craig Maxwell December 14, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Nah, that couldn't be it. I failed the food server final exam.


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