Desert Sands Educational Foundation secures funding and awards money to provide supplemental resources that enrich and enhance student learning in Desert Sands Unified School District. – Mission Statement

Thanks is a very small word, only six letters in length, but it is a word more powerful than almost any other. Desert Sands Educational Foundation recognizes the community partnerships that make it possible to provide schools in DSUSD with supplemental programming, particularly in the arts.

The funding, grants, and money-raising events all assist in these efforts. Over 29,000 students in the Desert Sands Unified School District benefit from the funds that place recorders in the hands of third grade students learning music, supplies that help build artists, and mini-grants that fulfill the wishes of teachers.


Desert Sands Education Foundation President Patrick Calasan and Vice President Kristie Beasley flank City of Indio’s Jim Curtis, community services manager.

The May 14 event provided the foundation the opportunity to recognize the partnerships developed over the past three years. The all-volunteer board created an event using student assistance. The “Ninja Recorders” from Gerald Ford Elementary School provided music on their foundation-donated recorders; the students from the Balloon Club at Thomas Jefferson Middle School created the centerpieces; students from Richard R. Oliphant Elementary School tutored the adults in coding.


The Thomas Jefferson Middle School students set the tone for the evening with their fun photo booth.

The ASB students from Jefferson served as greeters and the school’s journalism class created a photo booth, took photos, and video.

Desert Sands Educational Foundation was re-established in 2012. In the early years their goal was to assist in the district’s purchase of Chromebooks and charging carts. In more recent years an emphasis has been placed on supporting arts in the schools. Signature events for the foundation include the Hike 4 Education and CAMFest (Children’s Art & Music Festival). Previous events have included the Festival of Trees & Holiday Baskets. The district’s 50th anniversary in 2016 provided the foundation a unique opportunity to hold a fundraising gala at the Coachella Valley History Museum. The museum collaborated with Desert Sands on a year-long exhibition on the history of the schools in the mid-valley communities.


The choirs from Carrillo Ranch Elementary School performed at CAMFest 2018.

Today, the foundation is well-known for CAMFest. The event has been held in 2017 and 2018 and plans are already underway for the 2019 event to be held December 14 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Bands, choirs, dancers, thespians, and visual artist from the district’s 34 schools gather to showcase their talent. It is an event not to be missed as community partners including musical performers join in to celebrate the arts in our schools. Next year will also include digital storytelling. Food booths, storybook characters, and support organizations are on hand to make for an amazing day that generates funding to further develop the schools’ arts programs.

But it couldn’t happen without community support. You may support the Foundation by clicking here. Thanks!

Platinum Sponsors

  • H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation
  • Bighorn Cares
  • Bose
  • City of Indio
  • Coachella Valley History Museum
  • Desert Dream Parties
  • Desert Sands Unified School District
  • Gamble Chiropractic
  • Insurance Board
  • Lifetouch
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • Second City Radio
  • Sip Coffee House & Juice Bar
  • Sally Sullivan

Gold Sponsors

  • Alpha Media
  • Altura Credit Union
  • Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rund & Romo Law
  • The Bull Radio 98.5
  • The Chandi Group
  • City of Indian Wells
  • City of La Quinta
  • City of Palm Desert
  • Hot Purple Energy
  • Lash Construction, Inc.
  • Ledesma & Meyer Construction Co., Inc.
  • Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • O’Connell Landscape Maintenance
  • Rancho Santa Fe Foundation
  • Riverside County Regional Parks
  • Robert B. Design
  • The Rochford Living Trust – Burrage Mansion
  • Roger Isabell New Photo/Graphic Concept
  • WLC Architects

Silver Sponsors

  • Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
  • Alpen Spruce
  • Anytime Fitness, Palm Desert
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Bernards Builders
  • Brandini Toffee
  • Caston Inc.
  • Coachella Valley Pharmacy
  • Detroit Bobby’s Coney Island Restaurant
  • Eisenhower Medical Center
  • Risa Fox
  • G-Aries Visions Photographic Design
  • Indian Wells Tennis Garden
  • Dannis Woliver Kelley Law
  • Kiddos Lingua After School Program
  • La Quinta Art Association
  • La Botica Health Mart
  • The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens
  • NIC Partners
  • Palm Springs Hyundai
  • RAP Foundation
  • Ruhnau Clarke Architects
  • Samsung Business
  • Scholastic
  • Shadow Hills Country Club
  • Stone Reserve
  • Thai Smile Rancho Mirage
  • Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians

Bronze Sponsors

  • 4Shayj Foundation
  • Avondale Golf Club
  • Bare Minerals
  • Big Data Solutions
  • Big Wheel Tours
  • Bermuda Dunes Country Club
  • Broken Yolk Cafe
  • Cabazon Band of Mission Indians
  • California Nurses Educational Institute
  • Cliff House Grill & Bar
  • Desert Willow Golf Resort
  • Entisys 360
  • Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
  • Friends of the Desert Mountains
  • Goldenvoice
  • Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa
  • Indian Wells Golf Resort
  • Jonathan & Associates, Inc.
  • JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
  • La Quinta Brewing Company
  • Elka and Terry Parker
  • Miracle Springs Resort & Spa
  • Pacifica Seafood Restaurant
  • Palm Desert Rotary Club
  • Rancho La Quinta Country Club
  • Pat Saglime
  • Square Print
  • Franz Tatum Wealth Management
  • Swiss Trax Flooring

Copper Sponsors

  • Robert Acosta
  • AcQPoint Acupuncture & Wellness
  • Arbor Stone
  • Michael Bluestein
  • Cruz Language Academy
  • Earth Sculptures
  • Empire Polo Club
  • Empower Retirement
  • The First Tee
  • Forest Lawn
  • Funtastik Balloons & Party Rentals
  • Gaggle
  • Green Room Theatre Company
  • JFK Memorial Hospital
  • Terri, Bill & Brian Ketterer
  • Kitchen Kitchen
  • La Quinta Beauty Supply & Salon
  • La Quinta Jewelers
  • La Quinta Resort & Club
  • Lisa D’s Homework Club
  • Luna Ink
  • Macy’s
  • Marriott Shadow Ridge
  • McCallum Theatre
  • Cindy McDaniel
  • Bobby & Kari Middleton-Hendrix
  • Dan Miller
  • Matt & Mary Ann Monica
  • My Gym
  • The Nest
  • Nestle Water
  • Pepsi
  • Premier Care Center
  • Provident Bank
  • Renova Energy
  • Ristorante Mamma Gina
  • Rubio’s
  • Gary Rutherford
  • Salon Studios by J. Rich
  • Deborah Scalise
  • Tesla Energy

Lead photo caption: The cast of the John Glenn Middle School’s production of Elf The Musical previewed their play at CAMFest 2018. The play opened just hours later.









Image Sources

  • Foundation President Patrick Calasan and Vice President Kristie Beasley flank City of Indio’s Jim Curtis, community services manager.: DSUSD
  • Photo Booth: DSUSD
  • The choirs from Carrillo Ranch Elementary School performed at CAMFest 2018.: DSUSD
  • John Glenn Middle School students with a sneak peak of “Elf, The Musical”.: DSUSD