|University President J. Michael Ortiz holds a Fender guitar autographed by entertainers the Smothers Brothers following their performance at Founders’ Celebration 2004.|
|More than 500 alumni, faculty, staff, legislators and university supporters attended the benefit gala at the Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry.|
Founders’ Celebration 2004: An Evening with the Smothers Brothers, featuring entertainment by icons of classic American comedy, raised more than $225,000 for student scholarships and academic enrichment.
More than 500 alumni, faculty, staff, legislators and university supporters attended the benefit gala on Feb. 29 in the Majestic Ballroom of the Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry.
Marking more than four decades in show business, Tom and Dick Smothers entertained fans with a special hour-long performance that included stand-up song and banter, musical talents, dancing and even yo-yo tricks. The duo even tailored their act to include Cal Poly Pomona and education references that evoked laughter and applause from the audience.
“Education is so great because without it you’re so ‘not smart,'” Tom Smothers said profoundly before trailing off with thoughts on Arabian horses being “very nice” and education being “very good.”
“The Smothers Brothers did a wonderful job,” said Ron Simons, administrator in charge of University Advancement. “They were supportive of our mission to raise money for scholarships, and they gave us a program that exceeded our expectations, including a photo opportunity with select guests after the show.”
Cal Poly Pomona and the University Educational Trust hosted the university’s premier social and support event. This event marked the inaugural year of university President Michael Ortiz, who served as the event’s master of ceremonies.
|Ron Simons, administrator in charge of University Advancement, auctions off donated items during Founders’ Celebration.|
|Yo Yo Man Tommy Smothers performs the Eiffel Tower trick.|
“What a wonderful evening,” Ortiz said. “Betty and I had a chance to spend time with some special people, individuals who are passionate about our educational mission. It is only through their support that we can continue to provide our students with important scholarship opportunities.”
Founders’ Celebration is the university’s annual event to raise funds for student scholarships and academic enhancement. While figures are still being totaled, it is estimated that more than $225,000 was raised at this year’s event. Nearly $70,000 was raised from the voice auction, which included a tremendous array of items such as dinner for 10 with President and Mrs. Ortiz; a Fender guitar played and signed by the Smothers Brothers; a week in Maui for up to six plus airfare for two; and attendance of two different motion picture premiere screenings of Pierce Brosnan movies donated by New Line Cinema.
“The general critique was that everyone had a great time at this event,” said Simons. “One guest specifically commented, “I’ll never miss another Founders’ Celebration. It’s the first time I’ve been and you can bet I’ll be back.'”
Each year, the university’s reputation for a first-class Founders’ Celebration continues to grow with a line-up that has included Paul Anka and now the Smothers Brothers. Those who have suggestions for next year’s entertainment (and connections to the entertainer) are encouraged to contact the Founders’ Celebration Committee at (909) 869-5437.