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March 2020 Gala Guide

San Diego Food Bank

March 2020 Gala Guide

Posted on February 25, 2020


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


La Jolla Playhouse Awards Dinner
Jenn Colella

La Jolla Playhouse Gala — Postponed.

March 14 | The Prado

La Jolla Playhouse’s stunning annual event, chaired this year by Playhouse Board Chair Lynelle Lynch, supports the organization’s new play development, education, and outreach programs, as well as programs benefiting military families. The evening will feature performances by Tony Award nominee Jenn Colella, star of the Playhouse-born Broadway hit Come From Away. The gala will also include sneak peek performances from upcoming productions in the playhouse’s 2020/2021 season, including Lempicka and Bhangin’ It. The evening will begin at 5:30pm with a cocktail party, followed by dinner at 7pm featuring a specially-prepared, seasonal menu. Dinner will be paired with hand-selected wines to create an exquisite culinary experience. The event will conclude with an after-party from 10pm to midnight, where guests can continue to mix, mingle and dance. gala@ljp.org, lajollaplayhouse.org


Champions of Hope
Mary and Rolf Benirschke

Champions of Hope Awards Dinner — Postponed. In an abundance of caution, the committee has decided to reschedule the Champions of Hope Awards dinner to a later date in 2020.

March 14 | Kona Kai Resort & Spa

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s annual Champions of Hope Awards Dinner will support the mission of the foundation in its effort to find cures for the more than three million Americans affected by Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and to improve the quality of life of patients affected by these diseases. This year, Rancho Santa Fe resident Kathy May will be honored as the nonprofit’s Community Impact Honoree. Additional honorees include Dr. Brigid Boland, Physician of the Year, and Faheem Hasnain, Rolf Benirschke Legacy Award winner. Funds raised will support critical research occurring here in San Diego and help provide education and support programs to those who need them most, including a camp for children with these diseases. one.bidpal.net/2020champions



Kyoto Prize Symposium Annual Gala — Postponed.

March 17 | Hilton San Diego Bayfront

The nonprofit Kyoto Symposium Organization presents its 19th annual Kyoto Prize Symposium March 17-19 with free public events honoring the newest recipients of the Kyoto Prize, Japan’s highest private award for global achievement. A black-tie gala on March 17 will celebrate Dr. Ching W. Tang, Dr. James Gunn, and Ariane Mnouchkine, the Kyoto Prize Laureates, and helps fund the Kyoto Prize Symposium Scholarships. The event serves as a distinguished opening ceremony for the symposium where these students are announced and presented. Scholarships are awarded to three high school seniors from the greater San Diego and Tijuana, Baja California region. Each student receives a college scholarship valued at up to $10,000 for the next academic year. Additional awards are made to more than 25 other students. 858.733.0323,  ksomarisa@outlook.com, kyotoprize-us.org/annual-gala

Dr. Ching W. Tang, Dr. James Gunn, and Ariane Mnouchkine


Women & Science Design and Discovery Showcase — Postponed. Due to the unfolding novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, the Women & Science event at Salk has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date. Additional information will be posted at salk.edu and salk.edu/events/public-events in the near future.

March 18 | Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Event chair Priscilla Wood Balikian and honorary chairs Tina Simner and Linda L. Chester present an evening of fabulous food and stimulating conversation. The Salk Institute Women & Science program’s special spring event will focus on nutrition, healthy aging, and cutting-edge neurological discoveries. From 4:30-7pm, learn ways to optimize health with scientific presentations from Salk scientists, and a panel discussion and cooking demonstration from celebrity chefs, the Pollan family: Tracy, Dana, and Lori Pollan, and their mother, Corky. Tracy will highlight some of the benefits she and her husband, Michael J. Fox, have experienced from eating a mostly plant-based diet. salk.edu/designdiscovery

Women & Science
The Pollan family


Spotlight Gala — Postponed. New date to be announced shortly.

March 22 | Fairmont Grand Del Mar

For 2020 North Coast Rep honorary chairs Svetlana and Richard Dreyfuss, returning civics to American classrooms is paramount. The couple will be honored at a memorable evening that will begin with a cocktail reception and silent auction. A seated dinner will be served in the ballroom, with auctioneer Clint Bell conducting the live auction and fund-a-need segment. Non-stop laughs and toe-tapping Broadway show tunes will follow from Gypsy, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, and Forum, along with a few additional surprises. Gala chairs are Laura Applegate, Sarah King, and Martin Davis. The Champion of the Arts Award will be given to Jay and Julie Sarno. northcoastrep.org/donor-events/gala

Svetlana and Richard Dreyfuss
Svetlana and Richard Dreyfuss


Celebrating Couture 2020 — Postponed.

March 31 | Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine

The Globe Guilders are celebrating their 30th annual fashion show and luncheon, presented by Neiman Marcus, to benefit The Old Globe’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Attendees will be the first fashionistas to view the Southern California debut of the Marchesa Couture Pre-Fall and Fall 2020 Collection. The event begins with a sunlit Champagne reception at 10am with the chance to bid on silent auction items. The live auction and opportunity drawing begin at 12pm, followed by the fabulous Marchesa fashion show and delicious lunch. After the show, Neiman Marcus will present a one-of-a-kind boutique for browsing and shopping. This year’s chair is Elizabeth Helming, joined by co-chair Jo Ann Kilty and Pamela Maudsley-Merrill, president of the Globe Guilders. Tickets start at $170. 858.382.1672, guilders20.givesmart

Celebrate Couture
The Marchesa Couture Pre-Fall and Fall 2020 collection draws inspiration from the studies of horses by Edgar Degas (1834-1917). Fluid energy and lightly draped tulles are mixed with tailored velvet and sculptural duchess satins, giving an edge to romance


CRC English Tea — Postponed.

April 4 | Encinitas Community Center

Community Resource Center’s 25th Annual English Tea will provide funding to support CRC’s wraparound programs that include a domestic violence emergency shelter, nutritious food, housing assistance, legal advocacy, counseling, and more. The event features a silent auction and opportunity drawing, homemade tea sandwiches and desserts, and a short educational program led by Dr. Ami Roeschlein, a published clinician, consultant for the National Council for Behavioral Health, and CRC’s Clinical Supervisor. Dr. Roeschlein will speak on “What is resilience, and how does it build community?” crcncc.org/englishtea

CRC English Tea


Women of Dedication — Rescheduled for August 19.

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


The Sunshine Gala — Postponed. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this gala has been rescheduled for September 12, 2020.

April 18 | Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Serving Seniors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping low-income and homeless seniors throughout San Diego, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The milestone will be marked with events and celebrations to honor senior clients, volunteers, staff, and donors who help make programs and services possible for more than 5,000 seniors in need each year. To celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary and Paul Downey’s 25th as President & CEO, the Sunshine Gala will feature an engaging and moving program, cocktail reception, gourmet dinner, wine grab, live and silent auctions, raise the paddle, special musical entertainment, and more. The elegant evening will raise critical funds to support Serving Seniors’ ongoing commitment to the senior community. 619.487.0702, servingseniors.org/50thanniversary

Serving Seniors Sunshine Gala
Lowell and Jori Potiker with Paul Downey


Chefs, Cork & Craft Gala

April 25 | San Diego Food Bank’s warehouse facility

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank’s annual gala, this year themed “Welcome to the Roaring 20s,” will celebrate the arrival of a new decade while paying homage to the style and energy of the Roaring 1920s. Chef Sara Polczynski will lead a team of 30 chefs during the dinner service. Each table of ten guests will be assigned a chef who will act as that table’s personal chef for the evening, preparing a multi-course dinner of signature dishes. The evening will include exciting entertainment, amazing silent and live auction items, and the gala’s now famous cocktail lounge in the Food Bank’s 50,000-cubic-foot refrigeration unit. Live musical guests will include The Jim Gibson Band and Mercedes Moore & The Mystery Band. Proceeds from the gala will support critical hunger-relief programs including the Food Bank’s new Diaper to Degree Program that provides emergency diapers, resources, and food to families and youth living in poverty in San Diego County. Co-chairs are Ellen Gruer and Cindy Hickman. sandiegofoodbank.org/gala

San Diego Food Bank
Raoul Martinez, James Floros, and Chrissy Russo


The Arc of San Diego’s 2020 Gala

April 25 | The Guild Hotel

Step right up under the big top at “The Greatest Place on Earth,” The Arc of San Diego’s 2020 annual gala. Chaired by Linda Kurtin, this year’s circus-inspired event will feature marvelous entertainment, dining, a silent and live auction, and something for everyone to enjoy. Proceeds from the unforgettable evening will benefit children and adults receiving essential life services at The Arc of San Diego. The evening begins at 5:30pm with a cocktail reception followed by a world-class dining experience and dancing to music by Wayne Foster Music & Entertainment. Circus-inspired attire is encouraged. 619.685.1175, ext. 291, arc-sd.com/gala

Arc of San Diego
Linda Kurtin (center) and family


Heart of a Child Concert

April 25 | The Conrad

Resounding Joy presents the ninth annual Heart of A Child concert to benefit the Ariana Miller Healing Notes program, which provides no-cost music therapy to children battling a serious illness at Rady Children’s Hospital. Dr. Jeff and Anita Miller lost their daughter, Ariana, to heart disease 12 years ago. Her love of music and seeing how she benefited from music therapy while hospitalized inspired them to help bring this to other children. Last year, music therapy brightened the lives of more than 850 children. The concert showcases San Diego’s premier young musical talent. resoundingjoyinc.org, theconrad.org


Tea & Tonic

April 30 | The US Grant

Center for Community Solutions will host the 21st Tea & Tonic to celebrate a community of volunteers who are dedicated to supporting survivors and ending sexual and intimate partner violence. This year’s keynote speaker is Chanel Miller, who will speak about her transformation from sexual assault survivor to advocate. Having faced her perpetrator in a case that made international headlines, she authored a powerful victim statement that went viral, further shedding light on the challenges faced by sexual assault survivors. Her book, Know My Name, shares her story and spotlights the culture and criminal justice system biased toward perpetrators. Proceeds will support CCS’ crisis intervention programs, including a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelters, victim advocacy, court accompaniment, hospital accompaniment during forensic exams, counseling services, and legal services. 858.693.2369, shancock@ccssd.org, ccssd.org

Tea & Tonic Chanel Miller
Chanel Miller


Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Photo by Robin Wood    Serving Seniors: Photo by Jennifer Nelson     Arc of San Diego: Photo courtesy of Doug Gates Photography


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