LAEF King and Queen of Hearts crowned with $200,000 raised

Pictured above Los Alamitos Education Foundation Queen of Hearts Wendee Close and King of Hearts Geoffrey King on the night of their coronation. Courtesy photo

The Los Alamitos Education Foundation crowned the King & Queen of Hearts on Saturday, Feb. 24, at The Grand in Long Beach. The Queen of Hearts is Wendee Close, Mortgage Loan Specialist at CLS Financial, district alumna, and district parent. The King of Hearts is Geoffrey King of King Financial Group – Wells Fargo Advisors, Rossmoor resident and Los Alamitos High School parent. All six Royal Court candidates ended their 10-week fundraising campaign at the Royal Ball and Coronation; the grand fundraising total was over $200,000. This exceeded the previous record, set during the 2016-17 campaign, of $180,000. Every dollar that each candidate raised counted as a vote, and Close and King were the top fundraisers.

Carrie Logue, LAEF Executive Director said, “We are ecstatic and humbled by the tremendous amount of time and effort all the candidates put into the King & Queen of Hearts campaign. We are thrilled by the engagement of our community and how the candidates introduced many new people to LAEF’s mission!”

Archduke sponsors CLS Financial, SXS Industries and Southland Credit Union were on hand to cheer on all the candidates. The crowd enjoyed music from a jazz trio of Los Alamitos High School students. Dr. Andrew Pulver, Los Al USD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, was the Master of Ceremonies.

The 2017-18 Queen Royal Court members are Amy Payne, Executive Director of Summer Harvest, and Los Al USD School Board member Karen Russell. The King Royal Court members are Dan Brandt of the Los Alamitos Police Department, and Craig Chamberlain of Chamberlain Real Estate.

LAEF President Kevin Guetig said, “I am truly amazed by the ongoing success the of King and Queen of Hearts campaign. Our fundraising has totaled to over $620,000 over the past five years and Royal Ball attendance has grown to 300 community members. This will continue to benefit all students as proceeds support our STEAM Initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Math), which provides instruction and fairs on all campuses, and the district-wide STEAM showcase on May 19 at LAHS. It also supports Media Center teachers at all elementary schools and seed funds to enhance STEAM learning all year long.”

LAEF is the non-profit partner of Los Alamitos Unified School District. LAEF enhances educational excellence in our community by providing after-school and summer enrichment programs to Pre-K to 12th grade students. For additional information on LAEF, please call (562) 799-4700 x80424 or visit The King and Queen of Hearts campaign link is

LAEF King and Queen of Hearts crowned with $200,000 raised