“The gala is our largest fundraiser of the year, and this is the most money we have raised since celebrating our centennial in 2013. We are overwhelmed by the incredible support of our community,” said Hillsides President and CEO Joseph Costa.
About 400 guests enjoyed the Brazilian-themed event that benefits the almost 17,000 children, youth and families Hillsides serves. “Heart of Brazil” was chaired by three long-time supporters of Hillsides — Edison Barbosa, Bill Eichler and Pamela Mahon. Barbosa is Brazilian, which inspired the theme.
Highlights of the evening included a live auction emceed by NBC4 weathercaster Fritz Coleman, a testimonial by actress Jean Smart, who spoke about volunteering with the children in Hillsides’ residential treatment program, and a chorus line of colorfully dressed Samba dancers. Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger was in attendance, and she presented the gala co-chairs with commendations for their efforts.