Each year the Claremont Community Foundation brings together residents and businesses who host a series of parties all month long to raise money for Inland Valley nonprofits.
The idea is to fund-raise and friend-raise, making for a win-win combination.
The upcoming round of get-togethers will be celebrating its 17th year of fun, friendship and fundraising.
Sixteen parties are planned throughout the month of March. The first get-together is titled "Local Art, Local Talent" and it will feature an art auction. Guests can begin enjoying and then bidding on local artist-created treasures on Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Artwork will be displayed at the Foundation's office, 205 Yale Ave., through March 14. The pieces then will be displayed at Padua Hills Theatre for the final auction, along with a party showcasing The Dogs band on March 15.
The fun will continue with some familiar and very successful repeat gatherings along with a few new ones. New to the list this year are a Downton Abbey tea on Saturday with two seatings - 10 to 11:15 a.m. and noon to 1:15 p.m. - at a private Claremont home with a cost of $40 per person; a "Taste of Chicago" dinner on March 16, again at a private home, for $125 per person; "An Evening in the Old South" fete on March 23, at a private home, for $65 a person; and "Mutts and Margaritas" activity for you and your four-legged best friend on March 29 from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Party Parade fundraiser has been very successful through the years and showcases how much the community is willing to support its members, according to Nicki Cleaves, Claremont Community Foundation executive director. Party hosts donate their time, materials and, in many cases, their homes along with help from local businesses.
"I'm always so tickled to see the response we get from the community. We simply could not do this without the community volunteers and we are grateful," Cleaves said.
"This year promises to be another fun set of parties. We try to create a few new ones in order to keep it fresh, but we also have familiar ones that guests just won't let us stop. I think there is something for everyone from exercise opportunities to cooking classes to games to some of our elegant dinner parties."
Many of the parties have limited space and sell-out quickly. For information about the Foundation and party reservations, call 909-398-1060.
Proceeds are used for Foundation programs. One of those programs involves awarding grants to various community nonprofits. The money is from the Foundation's Community Impact and Arts Impact funds, which comes from fundraising and generous donors.
In 2012, the Foundation gave 12 organizations a total of $17,000 in grants. Those organizations included OPARC, the Claremont Meals on Wheels, Crossroads Inc., and the Inland Repertory Theatre.
The Claremont Community Foundation was formed in 1989 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to support local schools, artists and nonprofits. The aim was to involve the community in furthering philanthropic efforts in the city.