The education foundations from four south East Valley school districts are for the first time partnering with Chandler-Gilbert Community College to raise scholarship money for high school students through a unique dinner event.
C³ — Cuisine, Conversation and Community — will be held Saturday at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. The outdoor dinner will feature a different topic at each of 30 tables, and diners will be able to choose which table they will sit based on the topic.
Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Chandler, Gilbert, Higley and Queen Creek education foundations, which provide scholarships for high school students to attend the community college.
“It is a great opportunity to just have some good old-fashioned conversation,” said Tom Lindsey, director of curriculum for the Queen Creek Unified School District and a board member of the Queen Creek Education Foundation. “The community has put together fascinating, interesting topics (and the) proceeds are going to a great cause.”
Patty Garcia-Likens, president of the Gilbert Education Foundation, said guests can designate the proceeds from their tickets to go to one of the foundations, or if they do not indicate a preference it will be split four ways.
So far, about 200 tickets have been sold and organizers are hoping for 300, Garcia-Likens said.
The idea for the event came from Pam Petty, professor of social and behavioral sciences, who heard about a similar event put on by the Montana Education Foundation.
At each table, there will be one or two experts on the topic to be discussed. For instance, Gilbert Town Councilman Les Presmyk will facilitate a conversation called “Are You a Politics Junkie?” while social psychologist Belinda Ramos will facilitate a conversation titled “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
Garcia-Likens said she’s talked to many couples attending where the husband and wife will be seated at different tables.
“It all has to do with what your interests are,” she said. “I think there’s something for everybody.”
Gayle Shanks, owner of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, will lead a conversation titled “If I Had to Pick Five Novels I Love, These Would Be My Choices.”
“I think it’s a very interesting format,” Shanks said. “I’m hoping the people at my table will not be just listening to me, but will be sharing their favorite novels as well.”
Shanks said she doesn’t want to share her favorite novels until the event, but thinks the dinner guests will be surprised.
“I’m trying to find five novels they might not think about — not Hemingway or Faulkner,” she said.
“They will probably be some authors they’ve never heard of before.”
Who: Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Chandler, Gilbert, Higley and Queen Creek education foundations
What: C3 — Cuisine, Conversation and Community
Where: Chandler-Gilbert Community College Pecos Campus, 2626 E. Pecos Road, Chandler
When: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday
Why: Scholarship fundraiser
Cost: $50 per person; table sponsorship opportunities available beginning at $250. Deadline to purchase tickets is Tuesday.
Information: www.cgc.edu/c3 or (480) 732-7312