On Oct. 6, hundreds of costumed guests gathered at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa to raise funds for Laura’s House, a residential shelter for families affected by domestic violence. The event generated $150,000 to support the programs and services provided by the shelter.
Margaret Bayston, CEO and executive director of Laura’s House, expressed her gratitude for attendees’ support of the organization and its mission. “ We are immensely grateful to everyone who attended our annual gala this year, and helped to make it a huge success by opening their hearts and wallets to provide us with the financial support that we need,” Bayston said. “Special events like our annual gala are also instrumental in building greater awareness that helps us to fulfill our mission, changing the social beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence.”
The evening began with a reception for supporters of the Cornerstone Capital Campaign, which helped Laura’s House to rebuild its emergency shelter and purchase a transitional housing program for shelter graduates. Orange County philanthropist Anne MacPherson and Campaign Chair Wayne Pinnell, his wife Karen Pinnell and Laura’s House Board of Directors Chair Laura Khouri were recognized for their support in achieving the campaign’s goals.
Next came a cocktail reception with passed hors d’ooeuvres and silent auction of more than 200 items, including travel packages, fine dining experiences, wine and wine tasting packages. Tickets were sold during the reception for an opportunity drawing to win a two-night stay at the Montage Laguna Beach.
Dinner was held in the Grand Pacific Ballroom with Vikki Vargas, Orange County bureau chief for NBC4, acting as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. During dinner, Bayston and Gala Chair Shelley Hoss, president of the Orange County Community Foundation, presented Khouri the “Power Packed Philanthropy Award.” The award recognizes Khouri’s contributions to Laura’s House and leadership over the past four years as well as advocacy for the organization within Orange County’s business and philanthropic communities.
Following dinner, Bayston and Khouri presented the Crystal Heart Awards. MacPherson, representing The Joe MacPherson Foundation and Edwards Lifesciences, were honored for their philanthropy. Executive Director of Global CorporateGiving, Amanda Fowler, accepted the award on Edwards Lifesciences’ behalf. Testimonials of shelder graduates were then given and Laura’s House debuted its new video “Kim’s Story,” featuring a woman able to rebuild her life after receiving help from the shelter. Also, auctioneer Mike Shumard solicited sponsorships for Laura’s House Emergency Center, and other programs. The night ended with dancing and music from the Sensational Showband and a live auction.
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