Celebrating the 57-year history of the original De Anza High School and the history to come in the new facility that will take its place requires more than a single day.
That's why alumni, faculty and supporters of the campus serving Richmond and El Sobrante have earmarked two days for three events in August -- and want folks to mark their calendar now.
"This is to celebrate the opening of the brand new campus," said Lisa Carr of the De Anza class of 1977. "There's not even any landscaping around it yet, but it already looks beautiful."
An alumni committee has been meeting for more than a year to plan the De Anza All Years (1957-2012) Reunion Gala on Aug. 17 and 18, said Karen Mason, a Don alum from 1964 who returned to teach at the campus for more than 30 years.
The festivities start with a cocktail reception, hosted by the De Anza Alumni Association, from 7 to 11 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Kaiser Center Rooftop by Lake Merritt in Oakland. The venue, which boasts great elevated vistas, was chosen because it can accommodate up to 1,200 people.
Reception tickets are on sale now at the early bird rate of $45 per person through June 30. The deadline to order using the form available online at deanzaalumni.org is Aug. 3.
True boosters can get a Golden DONor reserved seat for $75 per person or a table for eight for $500.
The celebration continues with two gatherings on Aug. 18.
A representative of the Juan Batista De Anza National Trail will be at the event and community group SPAWNERS will be showing off its environmental
classroom by the creek.
"The architect, the project manager and other construction personnel are going to be taking small groups on hard hat tours of the campus." Mason said.
This is a chance to relive the old school, and get a preview of the new one, which will have the first-ever De Anza theater and a small room called Memory Hall, where Dons memorabilia can be displayed.
"We're happy to hear from anybody who has memorabilia they want to donate," said Mason, who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We're really hopeful that not only graduates, but students and teachers know that the whole community is invited that Saturday," she added.
And while there is no admission charge, "We hope people will join the alumni association and can help with gifts to the new school," Mason said, including establishing a scholarship fund for future graduates. "We're looking to establish lots of traditions at the new school."
Kennedy High art teacher and artist Steve Mainini will be working on a mural for the school, from which he graduated in 1987.
Also on Aug. 18 is the free (donations accepted) annual All Years Alumni Barbecue and Picnic to be hosted by Garrison Travers. It starts at 10 a.m. at Laurel Glen in Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area in El Sobrante.
Alumni should bring their own blanket and picnic and barbecue grills will be available.
STAGE WORKSHOP SET: This year's Pinole Summer Theatre Workshop is a four-week program that kicks off from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday at the Community Playhouse, 601 Tennent Ave.
The session is open to singers, dancers and actors age 14 to 25 and meets for rehearsal from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with instruction in musical theater, acting, singing, dancing and production of a full-scale Broadway show "in an exciting, accelerated rehearsal atmosphere."
Participants will prepare for a staging of the Broadway rock and roll musical "Bye Bye Birdie" and registration and casting for individual roles will be held at the first session.
The registration fee is $150 for Pinole residents and $175 for nonresidents and the fee can be paid in installments over the weeks of the workshop.
Performances of "Bye Bye Birdie" will be July 19, 20 and 21, and the final session of the workshop is Monday, July 23.
For more details call 510-724-9844.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: El Cerrito High graduate and Richmond resident Drew Gooden makes his living as a forward in the NBA and remains heavily involved in charitable work.
Gooden, who paid a visit Monday to a community center in Richmond, is holding his first Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament on Monday at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo to benefit the Greater Bay Area Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
A long list of current and retired athletes -- including Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, Jahvid Best of the Detroit Lions and Monta Ellis of the Milwaukee Bucks -- will be joined by figures in the entertainment world for the tournament.
One of the tournament sponsors is Wingstop and Gooden is opening a location of the chicken wing franchise this month in Orlando, Fla.
Sample the wide variety of chocolate items, dip fresh fruit in the flowing chocolate fountain, peruse what's up for bid in the silent auction and vote on a People's Choice Award for favorite chocolate treat. Entertainment will be by students from the conservatory, an after-school music and performance enrichment program at Pinole Valley High.
Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and proceeds will benefit programs at the church and the Conservatory of the Arts. For tickets or details call Linda Bressam 925-917-0781 or Ann Roberts 510-724-2527.