Hillsides, a Pasadena-based mental health and foster care agency, raised more than $470,000 during its first-ever Virtual Gala, “Raising Hope,” which was live-streamed on Feb. 27 via YouTube.
Hundreds of supporters tuned in to view the live broadcast that benefits the 17,000 children, youth and families Hillsides serves. Raising Hope was chaired by Hillsides’ President and CEO Emeritus Joseph R. Costa, who is retiring in June after more than 11 years of service to Hillsides.
Highlights of the program included a welcome message from Sir Elton John, a live auction emceed by retired NBC4 weathercaster Fritz Coleman, and after-show performances by Nancy Wilson of Heart and Davey Johnstone and John Mahon of the Elton John Band. Costa was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his 30-plus years of public service by new Hillsides President and CEO Stacey Roth.
Joseph M. Costa (left), Hillsides’ honorary gala chair and president/CEO emeritus, was presented with his Lifetime Achievement Award. Fritz Coleman (right) served as the Hillsides’ “Raising Hope” gala emcee.
During the live auction portion of the program, guests bid on many desirable items, including vacations to New York, Montana and Mexico, celebrity meet-and-greets, and lavish dinner packages. The program also included touching video stories of clients who have received services from our Family Resource Centers and Youth Moving On program.
The gala was made possible by many generous sponsors, including the lead sponsor Donald Zonshine Family Foundation. The other major sponsors are Willis Towers Watson, Ayrshire Foundation, Claudia Calandrino, Don and Sally Clark, the H. Leslie and Elaine S. Hoffman Foundation, Kim and Rob Shepherd, Sherm and Marge Telleen, and Western Asset Management.
The gala committee consisted of Honorary Gala Chair Joseph M. Costa, Edison Barbosa, Armida Baylon-Stelzer, Cathy Brennan, Donna De Mond, Bill Eichler, John S. Gong, Bernie Gore, Katie Hamrick, Ava Herrera, Stacey Hoppe, Sara Jennings, Ana Maarse, Pamela Mahon, Susan Noce, Susan Pinsky, Sara J. Simpson, Lyn Spector, Maureen Staley, Chelisa Vagim, Uyen-Uyen Vo, Kim Weleba.