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February 2020 Gala Guide

These annual galas are the best mix of glorious music, excellent cuisine, and the most agreeable company imaginable.

MJ Wittman, Wendy Walker, Sean Daneshmand, Edith Eva Eger, Marjan Daneshmand, and Elaine Becerra

February 2020 Gala Guide

Posted on January 22, 2020



Mainly Mozart Gala

February 1 | Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine

San Diego is mad about Mozart, thus the 2020 Mainly Mozart Gala is aptly titled “Mad About Mozart.” These annual galas are the best mix of glorious music, excellent cuisine, and the most agreeable company imaginable. This year’s Mozart celebration features a concert by violinist Zachary de Pue, bassist and vocalist Nate Farrington, and pianist Joshua Fobare. Musical performances as elements of Mainly Mozart galas remind guests of the mission. The gatherings are always lovely and this one will be no exception. Critically acclaimed, this binational musical organization has grown in stature and complexity over the years, performing in a variety of venues and attracting devoted followers. Its permanent base is the restored Balboa Theatre, with substantial community outreach. Gala chair is Ron McMillin. Honorary chairs include Alexandra Pearson and Paul Meschler, Arlene and Richard Esgate, Ron and Sue Heller, and Matthew and Svetlana Weil. 619.239.0100, mainlymozart.org

Svetlana and Matthew Weil


WinterFest Gala

February 6 | The Conrad 

The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center will be transformed for La Jolla Music Society’s “WinterFest Wonderland” Gala. The evening will feature a reception and dinner of culinary delights inspired by St. Petersburg’s celebrated White Nights Festival. After an exhilarating performance by Daniil Trifonov, the festivities will continue in a post-concert reception with dancing. Support for this elegant evening of culture, arts, and music provides the financial resources needed for La Jolla Music Society’s Education and Community Engagement Programs. Gala chair is Wendy Brody. 858.459.3724, ext. 216, ljms.org/wfgala

Daniil Trifonov


Make The Magic Gala

February 8 | Marina Village Conference Center

Camp Kesem at UC San Diego is a nonprofit that endeavors to lighten the emotional load carried by kids of parents with cancer, even if only for a week via a no-cost summer camp program. Camp Kesem’s “Make The Magic Gala” generates about one-third of the camp’s annual funding. The fundraiser features a hosted cocktail hour and dinner plus speakers, including campers and their parents, who share how the program has impacted them personally. The cost for one child to attend the camp is about $500; the gala is expected to fund the attendance of more than 75 kids for next year’s camps. campkesem.org/ucsd, donate.kesem.org/ucsdmtm2020     

Camp Kesem
Camp Kesem


Legacy of Light and Love

February 22 | Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine

An expected 400 guests will gather for Seacrest Foundation’s “Legacy of Light and Love” Gala, honoring the legacy of the San Diego Jewish community. The evening will feature a cocktail reception, live auction, three-course dinner, entertainment, and dancing. Gala co-chairs are Mary Epsten and her daughter Alana Ziman. A member of the foundation’s Board of Directors, Epsten has served as Women’s Auxiliary President for more than 25 years. Epsten recalls bringing young Alana to events when she was just a toddler. Now Ziman, a mother herself, is prepared to groom her next generation to carry on the family legacy. Honorary chairs Sheila and Jeffrey Lipinsky have been instrumental in shaping the community through their philanthropic support of the arts, Jewish agencies, universities, and more. Gala proceeds will support the Seacrest Village Resident Assistance Fund, which provides charitable care for those in our community who are most in need. seacrestfoundation.org

Jeffrey and Sheila Lipinsky
Jeffrey and Sheila Lipinsky


Go Red For Women Luncheon

February 28 | The US Grant Hotel

Sixteen years ago, Go Red For Women was born as a campaign to raise awareness among women about their great health threat, heart disease. Slowly, the campaign grew into a movement — one that not only brought together thousands of women annually but became a trusted, passionate, relevant force for change to eradicate heart disease and stroke all over the world. Go Red For Women provides a platform for women and their families to lead healthier lives and drive collective action for community transformation. The Go Red for Women luncheon focuses on preventing heart disease and stroke by promoting healthy lifestyles, building awareness, and raising critically-needed funds to support research and education initiatives. This year’s luncheon chair is Cindy Marten. 858.410.3850, sdgoredluncheon.heart.org

Go Red for Women


111th Anniversary Charity Ball – Leap into the Future

February 29 | Hotel del Coronado

Since 1909, The Charity Ball has been an integral part of the philanthropic and social fabric of San Diego. Beginning in 1953, the year before the hospital first opened its doors, the Charity Ball has exclusively benefited programs and services at Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego. Support for the 111th Anniversary Charity Ball will help to ensure that Rady Children’s will continue to provide state-of-the-art services for children in San Diego and the surrounding areas. Net proceeds from the 111th Anniversary Charity Ball, “Leap Into the Future,” will benefit Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine. Co-chairs are Angie Lasagna and Joyce Glazer. For VIP Charity Ball box seating, contact Michele Prescott. 858.336.7242, radyfoundation.org/charityball

Hotel del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado


Breakfast at Tiffany’s

March 3 | La Valencia

Miracle Babies, a nonprofit organization that supports families with critically ill babies in local Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), will celebrate the six-year anniversary of the Miracle Circle Auxiliary. The event will include a breakfast cocktail reception, decadent brunch, program, and an exciting opportunity drawing. Miracle Circle: A Labor of Love was founded in 2014 to band together philanthropic and innovative leaders to serve as goodwill ambassadors who support the work of Miracle Babies. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a day to honor and celebrate these dynamic philanthropic leaders who promote, donate, and volunteer to Miracle Babies programs,” says Marjan Daneshmand, the nonprofit’s co-founder. In 2019, Miracle Babies provided $250,000 in financial assistance to more than 600 NICU families, hosted 93 Miracle Hours for parents to escape the isolation of the NICU, and delivered more than 2,300 Miracle Babies care bags. miraclebabies.org

MJ Wittman, Wendy Walker, Sean Daneshmand, Edith Eva Eger, Marjan Daneshmand, and Elaine Becerra
MJ Wittman, Wendy Walker, Sean Daneshmand, Edith Eva Eger, Marjan Daneshmand, and Elaine Becerra


Mercy Ball

March 7 | Manchester Grand Hyatt

Featuring fine cuisine, live musical entertainment, and a high-energy live auction, the 48th Annual Mercy Ball will benefit cancer support services for patients and their families on the Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego campus. Many of these services will be housed in the historic Mercy College of Nursing building to complement the exceptional clinical care to be offered at the adjacent Prebys Cancer Center, part of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center. Due to open in 2022, Prebys Cancer Center will offer comprehensive cancer care services for patients throughout central and south San Diego County. This year’s Mercy Ball will also honor Richard P. Woltman and family for their decades of support and leadership at Scripps Mercy Hospital. 858.678.7174, scripps.org/mercyball

Scripps Mercy 2019 ballroom


Women of Dedication

April 9 | Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

“2020 Women of Vision — the Future of Philanthropy” is the theme of the 55th Anniversary Women of Dedication luncheon presented by the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. Co-chaired by Kathryn Stephens, Maggie Watkins, and Ranch & Coast Editor-at-Large Andrea Naversen, the annual event honors a dozen dynamic women for their long volunteer service and commitment to community. Honorees include Jamie Carr, Lynne Doyle, Jackie Helm, Denise Jackson, Ursula Kuster, Deborah Marengo, Ellen Moxham, Julie Cowan Novak, Esther Rodriguez, Roberta Tidmore, Wendy Urushima-Conn, and Danitza Villanueva. Honorary chairs are Jessie J. Knight and Joye D. Blount. Veteran journalist and publisher Joyce Glazer will receive the Peggy Matthews Legacy Award. Rosalie Gerevas is auxiliary president. Television news veteran Sandra Maas will serve as emcee. 619.446.0273, sdsawa.salvationarmy.org

Women of Dedication 2020 co-chairs
2020 Women of Dedication co-chairs Andrea Naversen, Kathryn Stephens, and Maggie Watkins


Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Photo by Robin Wood


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