April 17, 2003
CONTACT: Becky Zelinski, 661/664-2138, bzelinski@csub.edu
or Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu

CSUB Alumni to launch Alumni Park fundraiser at 7th Annual Party in the Park

The California State University, Bakersfield Alumni Association will kick off its fundraising campaign for the construction of Alumni Park at the Seventh Annual CSUB Party in the Park wine tasting, Friday, May 9 at 5:30 p.m.

Jill Ford, CSUB Alumni Director said Party in the Park is the perfect place for the association to launch its campaign to raise funds for the $150,000 one-half acre park construction project.

ìThroughout the year, the Alumni Association is involved in many university and community fundraising events but Party in the Park is definitely our ësignatureí event,íî Ford said. ìThe new Alumni Park is being constructed to serve as ëhomeí to this event so what better time to showcase our plans and generate enthusiasm among our alumni and supporters?î

Party in the Park is the annual wine festival hosted by the CSUB Alumni Association and the Bakersfield Wine Society to raise funds for the Alumni Scholarship Fund. Over the years, it has grown to become one of Bakersfieldís premiere wine tasting events.
Last year, more than 500 people attended the event, which raised more than $7,000 for scholarships.

Once again, the wine festival will boast more than 30 wineries. It also serves as a precursor for many people who attend the Bakersfield Jazz Festival, which begins at 7 p.m. in the adjacent CSUB Amphitheater.

Ford said Party in the Park will be the same great event everyone has come to expect, but will serve an additional purpose this year.

ìIn addition to putting on a great party, our alumni members will be spreading the word about Alumni Park. We hope everyone will come out to enjoy some good food and great wines and support both of the associationís important missions.î

Alumni Park is an area on the CSUB campus that dates back to 1985. A group of alumni decided to build an area for students and alumni to enjoy. The grassy area north of the ëRunner Café and east of the Walter Stiern Library was dedicated as Alumni Park and the group constructed a stream and waterfall.

A few years ago, the Alumni Association Board of Directors wanted to formally define and enhance the area. They raised funds for the parkís architectural design with the sale of the CSUB 30th anniversary wines and now hope to raise the funds necessary to complete the park.

Alumni Park Committee Chairperson Jeanne Young said the park is going to be the Alumni Associationís gift to the university and the community.

ìThe vision we have for Alumni Park is a beautiful spot on campus that says ëwelcome homeí to alumni,î Young said. ìWe want alumni to feel like the park belongs to them, but also that they are giving a wonderful gift to CSUB and the community. Itís a dream many of us have had for a long time and itís very exciting that weíre finally making it happen.î

Alumni Park will be used for campus events and by faculty, staff and students on a daily basis as a place to relax, study or socialize. It will also be available to the public to rent for parties, weddings, concerts, corporate picnics and other events.

The enhanced park will incorporate and expand the existing stream, pond and waterfall. The large existing trees will remain and many new ones added to provide much-needed shade for summer activities. Amenities will include a gated arbor entry, a patio area and recognition wall, as well as path, security and event lighting. The perimeter will be defined with flowering shrubs and several intimate areas will be incorporated into the larger landscape.

ìI think this will be the prettiest place on campus,î Young said. ìThese enhancements will make it more attractive and user friendly. It will also give alumni the definitive sense that they are united and belong here. We want students, as they walk through the park, to see that they are part of a bigger picture.î

If all goes as planned, construction of the park should be completed by May 2004.

The fundraising campaign is multi-faceted and will seek support from individuals, families, friends of the university and local businesses. However, the board members hope their fellow alumni will be their primary supporters.

Levels of giving have been established and a donor wall inside the park will recognize contributors. The levels are academically themed and relate to the progression of a student through the educational process. The levels are:

In-kind donations will also be accepted.

This yearís Party in the Park will feature 30 wineries from throughout California. The wines are donated by the wineries, which include: Eberle, Tobin James, Norman, Pessagno, and Dry Creek Vineyards; Rodney Strong, Round Hill, Rutherford Ranch, Arroyo del Sol, Morgan, Jory, Cosentino, Zaca Mesa, Lockwood, Dry Creek, Canyon Road, Big Horn Cellars, Fait Accompli and the Fresno State Winery.

Party in the Park is held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the CSUB campus. This year, due to construction, the festival will be held on the grassy area northeast of the Walter Stiern Library. Tickets are $30 and available by calling (661) 664-3211. There are also Party in the Park/Jazz Festival discount packages available for CSUB Alumni.