The Garden Party

A Benefit for Kensington Elementary.

November 3, 2018

Why Should We Support KEF?

The Kensington Education Foundation (KEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established in 1983, with a mission of delivering academic enrichment programs to Hilltop students. The organization supports educational programs that supplement and extend the academic offerings funded by our school district. KEF funded programs include the science lab, PE, art, read naturally, the computer lab, math intervention and enrichment, music for grades K-3, band and the running club.

Why is it called a "Garden Party"?

Have you ever wondered why a party held at the Berkeley Country Club (formerly Mira Vista Country Club) in the middle of Fall is called a Garden Party? It all started in 1984 with a fundraiser sponsored by the Dads' Club and PTA. At the first Garden Party, almost 300 people paid $50/person to attend a champagne cocktail hour and gourmet dinner catered by famed chef, Narsai David. The event was held at Blake Gardens in Kensington. It was such a huge success that it has been held every year for the past 34 years. And although the event hasn't been held at Blake Gardens for many years, the name has stuck.

How to Help

We need you! The Garden Party event is put together entirely by volunteers! Please consider volunteering for your time and talent for this very important event. Contact Brenda Lee at if you can help.

Become a Sponsor!

Would you like to advertise your business on our website, auction site as well as the weekly newsletters that go out to our entire school community? Contact Derek Suring at to find out more.

Where's the Party?

Berkeley Country Club (formerly Mira Vista Country Club)
7901 Cutting Blvd.
El Cerrito, CA 94530

November 3, 2018

Host a Fundraising Party

Have a great idea for a themed party? Have you always wanted to host a Bollywood party? A Murder Mystery Night? A Family Game Night? What better way to have fun, build community and raise money for your kid's school? Check out our FAQ's below for more information, and contact Sneha Patel ( or Andrea Sandler ( with your great idea!


Why is it called the Garden Party?

The first fundraiser for the school was held in 1984 at Blake Gardens in Kensington. It was held there until 1986 when the venue changed to the Unitarian church in Kensington. Although it hasn't been held in at the Blake Gardens for many years the name has stuck!

What percentage of the KEF budget is raised through this event?

Approximately 40 percent of the Kensington Education Foundation annual budget is raised through the Garden Party auction. KEF funded programs include the science lab, PE, art, read naturally, the computer lab, math intervention and enrichment, music for grades K-3, band and the running club.

How can I volunteer?

Contact Brenda Lee at

Do I still buy a ticket if I volunteer?

Yes! This is a fundraiser and we try to raise as much money as possible for the kids.

I have a great idea for an auction item. What should I do?

Contact donations chair, Ricki Akiwenzie at

What is a Fundraising Party?

Fundraising Parties are a fun way for our Kensington Elementary community to get together while raising funds for our school. Party hosts plan fun, themed events throughout the year and have generously agreed to assume full cost of the parties, so 100% of proceeds benefit Kensington Elementary students. You don't need to know the host to attend a party, so you can sign up for as many as you'd like! Past parties have included themes such as Family Fun Run, Bollywood Dinner, Dads and Kids Camping Night, Sewing Class, 80's Prom Night, Prohibition Speakeasy, and many, many more.

Why do we have our fundraising event in the Fall? Why not in the Winter or Spring?

KEF conducts our two major fundraisers, the Fall Pledge and the Garden Party Benefit Auction, early in the year to ensure we raise the funds needed to provide the programming in the current year. That means 90% of the budget needed to provide music, art, science lab, reading and math support, library and so much more are raised in the first 90 days of school! Phew! Let's get busy!

Are children allowed?

No, this is an adults only event.

Should I bring cash for the bar?

We will have a hosted bar at the event that will serve wine, beer, champagne and a few non-alcoholic beverages.

Would you like to sponsor a teacher's Garden Party ticket?

Support the event by purchasing "Sponsor-a-Teacher" tickets. These tickets help us to cover the cost of our VIP list – the teachers who make the magic happen for our kids.

We would love to participate in the Garden Party, but this is an especially tough year for our family. Is there a sliding scale available for tickets?

We want all Kensington Elementary School families to join in this fun and vital fundraiser and contribute as they can. To this end, we have set aside a small number of sliding scale tickets for those families for whom the full ticket price would be an insurmountable barrier to participation. Please contact Brenda Lee at for more information.