Please enjoy photos from our Reunion Gala
Post Event Wrap Up
SEACREST FOUNDATION PRESENTS THE 2022 WOMEN’S AUXILIARY “REUNION GALA”
CO-CHAIRS CINDY BLOCH, MARY EPSTEN, JEAN GAYLIS, JANE OTTENSTEIN & SHARI SCHENK
“Breathtaking,” “Memorable,” “One-of-a-Kind,” “We didn’t want to leave,” “One Big Family,” “Gorgeous” are the words that guests used to describe the Seacrest Foundation Women’s Auxiliary 44th Annual Gala on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Truly a Reunion Gala, this extraordinarily special event was the first gathering of our Seacrest community of supporters in over two years. Co-Chairs Cindy Bloch, Mary Epsten, Jean Gaylis, Jane Ottenstein, and Shari Schenk, along with over 230 guests, came together at a private residence and vineyard in Rancho Santa Fe to celebrate the strength and commitment of the Seacrest community of supporters whose generosity and kindness made it possible to get through the worst of the pandemic.
The Reunion Gala was a memorable evening featuring a variety of performances and activities to entertain guests. Upon arrival and during the champagne and cocktail reception, guests enjoyed performances from classical guitarist, Fred Benedetti, and “living vines” that gradually came to life in an awe-inspiring, mesmerizing transformation. There was an engraver on site to custom etch wine glasses for all guests. Upon entering the main event area, guests were welcomed by our dynamic emcee and improv comedian, Renee Kohn, and an up-tempo musical performance by a local band, the JMANN Trio. Dinner was overlooking a magnificent vineyard and featured a 3-course gourmet meal paired with exquisite wines.
All proceeds raised through sponsorships, underwriting, and ticket purchases will support Seacrest Village Retirement Communities’ Resident Assistance Fund, which provides charitable care for residents who are most in need. The number of seniors requiring help is astounding and growing. Approximately $2.5 million in charitable care is needed to cover costs of basic expenses such as food, shelter, and physical care.
Guests also had the opportunity to deepen their community impact through the Live and Online Auctions, and Fund-a-Need Program. The Reunion Gala featured an expansive collection of impressive auction items that were bid on either in-person at the event or online. Some of the most sought-after auction items included:
- A gorgeous 3 carat diamond ring, contributed by the Diamond Boutique.
- A Napa Getaway including a 3-night stay in a luxury home, premium wine tasting experience, and round-trip business class flights.
- A 56-bottle wine fridge filled with hand-picked wines from the Reunion Gala Steering Committee
- A private, sumptuous, wine-paired dinner for 10 at the acclaimed Pamplemousse Grille, hosted by master chef Jeffrey Strauss
But the most special part of the evening began as guest speakers Martin Montalvo Perez, who is an employee, and Debbie Simmons, who is a beloved resident, spoke about working and living at Seacrest through the pandemic. Martin passionately described working with the team through the pandemic and then spoke about Seacrest’s Fund-a-Need Project: a new emergency communication system for the Joseph & Dorothy Goldberg Healthcare Center that will enhance lives and help Seacrest provide the best care to residents. His words were heard by all as he said, “All I want to do is provide the best care possible to each resident.” Martin ended by saying “I would do this work every day, forever, if I knew I was changing and impacting the lives of residents like Debbie,” whom he then introduced. Seacrest resident Debbie Simmons then eloquently and honestly shared her gut-wrenching, and yet so inspiring story of being diagnosed two years ago with sepsis, which resulted in the amputation of both feet and both hands. Debbie stated Seacrest has become her home, where she finally feels safe. She added that with the love and support of the Seacrest staff she is now able to walk on prosthetic legs and is filled with hope for the future. Seacrest staff have been her lifeline…but what Debbie didn’t know until Martin spoke, is that her positive attitude and gratitude for each employee was, in fact, their lifeline to get through the darkest days of the pandemic.
The Fund-A-Need Program successfully raised funds to purchase a state-of-the-art two-way communication system for the Joseph & Dorothy Goldberg Healthcare Center. This new system will allow staff to better communicate with residents and provide enhanced quality of care. The upgraded system will offer added comfort and convenience to residents through enhanced control over their televisions and lighting and is also a crucial link to life-saving safety systems.
A dedicated Steering Committee truly made this fundraising goal a reality. A very special thanks to Women’s Auxiliary President, Mary Epsten, and Steering Committee members: Susan Arenson, Rusti Bartell, Linda Bennett, Susan Chortek Weisman, Karen Cohen, Eileen Glasser Wesley, Marge Katleman, Alyse Kirschen, Carol Levy, Roxi Link, Sheila Lipinsky, Esther Michan, Linda Otchis, Shirley Pidgeon, Rachelle Rosin, Bobbi Rossman, Elana Schiff, Orna Wittenberg, Marcia Wolochow, and Bebe Zigman
Contact: Karen Moy, Special Events Manager
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