Luncheon with stars of Portlandia raises $150,000

Yesterday, at our annual spring luncheon, hundreds of lucky San Franciscans saw the world premiere of Playgroundia at the St. Regis Hotel. 826 Valencia students Sofia Marquez, age nine, and Arkangel Magana, age fourteen, wrote the short play and performed it with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia fame.

Luncheon with stars of Portlandia raises 0,000
Carrie, Fred, Sofia, and Arkangel act out a student-written play

Cast as a potato man and a baby, respectively, the two actors shined in their roles as they were bossed around by the playground bully-cat, played by the smallest and arguably most adorable person on stage (Sofia), and her middle-school sidekick, who had a TV for a head (Arkangel). The crowd loved it. Beloved illustrator Wendy MacNaughton loved it so much, she drew the sketch featured in this post!

We would love to thank Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein for being our celebrity guests, Chestnut and Vine for their gorgeous floral arrangements, the St. Regis Hotel for hosting our luncheon for the third year straight, and we would especially love to thank all the wonderful supporters of 826 Valencia who attended this year to help us raise over $150,000 during this event.

More specifically, such an event could not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors: at the Hardcover level, Mary Schaefer and the Brin/Wojcicki Foundation; at the Paperback level, Kirsten and Michael Beckwith, Tracy and Mark Ferron, Jill Grossman, and George Lee, Leewood Press, Inc., and Maverick Capital; and at the Chapbook level, Susie and Sam Britton, Lisa Brown and Daniel Handler, Gail and Ian Jardine, Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon, Cochett, Pitre, & McCarthy, LLP, Goldman Sachs, and Volume Inc.

Luncheon with stars of Portlandia raises 0,000
James Lick students Samantha Corrales and Natalie Guarini (dressed as James Lipton) interview Fred and Carrie

An our wonderful event hosts, who helped us fill the room with caring and wonderful supporters of 826: Maria Baird and George Cotsirilos, Kirsten and Michael Beckwith, Barb Bersche and David Katznelson, Susie and Sam Britton, Adam Brodsley and Eric Heiman, Lisa Brown and Daniel Handler, Derek Brown, Natasha and John Boas, Susan Byrd and Mark Lampert, Dawn Dobras and Eric Swergold, Michal Ettinger and Andrew Strickman, Katie and Ian Evans, Tracy and Mark Ferron, Susan and Brian Gray, Jill Grossman, Yosh Han, Gail and Ian Jardine, Jordan Kurland, Leigh and Michael Lehman, Natalie Linden, Martorana Family Winery, Tommy Mike, Jessica Partch, Alexandra Quinn and Mark Spolyar, Rich Kid Cool, Mary Schaefer, Tiffany Shlain and Ken Goldberg, Vendela Vida and Dave Eggers, Karen and Jim Wagstaffe, and Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon.

And we would especially like to thank the Brin/Wojcicki Foundation, which matched the first $10,000 raised the day of the luncheon. When Yalie Kamara, former student and current Volunteer and Events Coordinator for 826, shared this news at the end of her speech, we saw the crowd even more motivated to jump in and join the cause.

If you missed the event, or if you were there and want to relive the memory, here’s the short film we played to kick off the luncheon!