Laura Lavelle: Education well supported in LOP |

Laura Lavelle: Education well supported in LOP

For years, my sons have been working to develop the skills necessary to be successful at the careers they will eventually choose as adults. Countless hours have been devoted to mastering techniques they believe will benefit them once they graduate from school.

Just last night, my youngest, who recently turned nine, spent time with a catalog, strategically circling the items he believed essential for his future as a Lego engineer. It was a toy catalog, but he takes it quite seriously.

The others… well, let’s just say that they could have mastered several foreign languages in the time they have spent honing their electronic gaming skills.

Fortunately, they also have spent hours as students in the Pleasant Ridge School District, where education is well-supported by the Lake of the Pines area community.

One event sponsored by the Parents’ Club at Cottage Hill Elementary School is the upcoming Science Fair.

This event provides an opportunity for students to explore an area of scientific interest, conduct experiments and participate with their classmates in an educational skill-building activity.

The fair will take place on Thursday and Friday, and will be judged by area science teachers. Student projects can then be funneled into the county-wide fair to be held at the Nevada City Elks Lodge in April.

Like the children of Cottage Hill Elementary, Magnolia Intermediate School students also are benefiting from their parents’ efforts. The Annual Bid ‘N’ Boogie Auction is scheduled for Saturday, March 8, at the Lake of the Pines Clubhouse.

This year, “The Night of Shining Stars” will feature an appetizer buffet, silent and live auction, no-host cocktails, music and dancing.

The Bid ‘N’ Boogie Auction, headed by Sue Botsford, has raised $90,000 over the past three years! It has funded many projects, including a new science lab for the Magnolia campus.

This year’s event is being sponsored by area businesses including Mertens Insurance Agency, Jackson Engineering, Barber-Kenes Capital Management, Animal Clinic of Lake of the Pines, Bobby Jones Concrete, Citizens Bank, Brian Hollister State Farm Insurance, Sierra Saddlery and Quality Automotive. The Robinson Foundation and Hanna family, the Winter family and others have also contributed.

Visit to register or preview auction items, which include dinners, golf, art, recreational outings and gifts. Do not miss this opportunity to bid on hundreds of great items and help support our schools. Call 268-2123 for more information.

Alexis Nicolai, a product of the Nevada County school system, has already applied her education to a real-life community-minded endeavor. Alexis, a student at Nevada Union High School, had chosen a fundraising project for her senior project.

On Wednesday at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, The Andy Straatemeier Memorial Scholarship Showcase will honor the memory of the former owner and coach of Stellar Gymnastics and former Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital employee, Andy Straatemeier.

The purchase of a ticket, at $10 to $12, for this dance performance will help maintain the annually awarded scholarship that benefits a Nevada High School graduate majoring in coaching or teaching. Tickets are available at the box office or by calling 274-8383, ext. 14.


Laura Lavelle’s column is for Lake of the Pines area residents to share thoughts and information. Contact her at or leave a message at 477-4230.

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