This past Saturday Hillsides hosted its annual benefit, “Road to Emerald City,” where guests followed the yellow brick road to raise $380,000 for programs and services serving vulnerable children and families living in Los Angeles County. As I looked around The California Club in downtown Los Angeles, I saw how the Benefit Committee had transformed it into the Land of Oz where Dorothy and the Wicked Witch also made a special appearance. With generous donors like Jacob Maarse Florists who donated the floral designs for the evening’s theme, I was amazed at just how much time, talent and energy is put forth to make such a spectacular event.
Kudos goes to Benefit chair Cathy Brennan, who set the stage for an unforgettable evening. We are also fortunate that Hillsides has many board members, supporters and volunteers that work with us behind the scenes to acquire amazing displays and items like the replica Ruby Slippers worn by Judy Garland in the “Wizard of Oz” previously on loan to The Smithsonian Museum from the Collection of David A. Pacheco that were displayed at the event. Other items were the candy bar that was a hit with the guests as were the hundred auction packages available for bid, and 1.5 carat natural Colombian Emerald opportunity drawing, donated by SN Queens. The Riboli Family of San Antonio Winery and Roger and Michele Engemann generously donated the wine for the evening.
Our emcee and celebrity auctioneer Fritz Coleman of KNBC reminded us that he has been supporting Hillsides a quarter of a century as he mentioned the centennial that we will be celebrating next year. Dr. Drew Pinsky, time and time again, continues to speak about the important work we do and emphasizes the value we give individuals to help them through troubling times. Hillsides is lucky to have such a committed emcee and celebrity auctioneer along with Cathy Brennan, who with her committee, worked tirelessly to present this evening. Most of all, without the sponsorships, we could not host such an elaborate evening. I want to thank our major sponsors who demonstrate a significant commitment through their generous contribution. Publicly, I would like to say, again, we could not do all we do for the children and families in our care, without your dedication to our mission.
Thank you toSusan and Bill Noce, Bolton & Company Insurance Brokers, Marge and Sherm Telleen, Don and Sally Clark, Linda and Stephen Gill, Clara Maarse and Hank Maarse-Jacob Maarse Florists, Ben and Judy Reiling, Paul Rusnak-Rusnak Auto Group, Swanton Family Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, Western Asset Management and many more who shared in our vision of the “Road to Emerald City.”
The weekend was filled with momentous occasions, not just for Hillsides guests as they reached the Emerald City, but for others who also partook in the viewing of the Oscar Academy Awards. And as I sat there also participating, I couldn’t help but think how grateful I was for the extraordinary performance by so many at Hillsides that we had our own awards to give.
Best Picture: Road to Emerald City
Producer: Susan and Bill Noce
Actor in Leading Role: Fritz Coleman
Actress in Leading Role: Cathy Brennan
Best Director: Development Department
Costume Design: Goldsmith & Klein
Art Direction: Jacob Maarse Florists
Music: Mark Levang & Band with special appearance by John Mahon
A special thanks goes to or guests for attending, viewing, and bidding. I wonder … who will get next year’s awards?