Emotional Night Brings Funds To Help End Silence of Domestic Violence
LADERA RANCH, Calif., Oct. 7, 2014 – More than 350 supporters of Laura’s House attended its annual gala “Shall We Dance” on Saturday, Oct. 4, in celebration of its 20th anniversary of successfully empowering victims of domestic violence and changing lives forever. The event, held at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, proved to be an emotional evening, raising nearly $1.5 million in support of the nonprofit’s mission of ending the cycle of abuse in the lives of women and their families.
Near the end of the evening, guests were stunned with a surprise announcement from Julia Argyros, speaking on behalf of the Argyros Family Foundation: “George and I arrived with the intent to donate a half million dollars. After hearing the graduate describe her experience with Laura’s House, we decided we wanted to help the organization assist even more women. So, we tore up the original check and wrote a new one for one million dollars.”
Before Argyros presented the check, a Laura’s House graduate shared her emotional story, detailing the abusive situation she came from. She described what Laura’s House had done for her and her family, which resulted in her current successful situation. In addition, a 20th anniversary video gave guests insights into the tremendous work carried out over the past two decades. Photos and interviews with board members, staff, volunteers and donors told the story in poignant detail.
Another major gift, announced by Anne MacPherson from the Joe MacPherson Foundation, matched the first $100,000 raised from the “Rebuild A Life” portion of the program, quickly resulting in a total of $225,000.
“Our 20th anniversary gala was a very special evening, celebrating a huge milestone, and it definitely was a great success with both unexpected major gifts and so many heartfelt donations from many more guests,” said Margaret Bayston, Laura’s House CEO and executive director. “It’s wonderful to see the community support our mission to help women move forward as they attempt to break the cycle of abuse.”
Master of Ceremonies, NBC4 Southern California reporter Hetty Chang, Laura’s House CEO Margaret Bayston, & Julia Argyros of the Argyros Family Foundation.
Attendees enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they mingled and bid on silent auction items. Master of Ceremonies, NBC4 Southern California reporter and four-time Emmy nominee Hetty Chang, welcomed guests and encouraged supporters to make a difference in the lives of families affected by domestic violence. Dinner was a lively celebration that featured a three-course gourmet meal, awards presentation, live auction and a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers-themed dance. Following dinner, guests danced the night away to music by Sensation Showband.
Presenting Sponsors Mike Hayde and Laura Khouri (Laura also was this year’s gala chair)
Laura Khouri, president of Western National Property Management, chaired this year’s gala and led the committee to ensure a record-setting fundraiser for Laura’s House. Khouri, who also is a Laura’s House board member, has volunteered as gala chair and has been on the committee for a number of years.
In honor of its 20th anniversary, Laura’s House recognized two organizations that have given so much through the nonprofit’s history. Haskell & White LLP (H&W), one of the region’s largest privately held accounting firms, was presented the Crystal Heart Award for its support. H&W Managing Partner Wayne Pinnell has been the key advocate and currently is Chair of Laura’s House Board of Directors. He leads many of the nonprofit’s key initiatives, and is one of Laura’s House’s important male supporters who helps to generate awareness about domestic violence within the community. Pinnell has been a supporter of Laura’s House since 1996. The other honoree, Gibson Dunn, received the Legal Leader Award for helping spearhead the legal services program provided to Laura’s House clients.
Daniel, Karen & Wayne Pinnell, Managing Partner at Haskell & White LLP (Wayne is Chair of Laura’s House Board of Directors)
“I’m proud to support an organization that works to protect women and children,” said Pinnell. “Vital support, from both women and men, is needed to put an end to domestic violence and we invite you to join us on this important journey.”
On the heels of a successful fundraising event, Laura’s House will continue raising awareness – and support for its families – throughout October in honor of domestic violence awareness month. Individuals interested in supporting Laura’s House and its mission to change social beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence can participate by donating food, cell phones or a car, shopping at one of the Laura’s House Resale Stores, or joining the organization for its annual Canyon Country Hike and Hoedown on Oct. 25. For a complete list of ideas, visit: http://www.laurashouse.org/news/2014/10/lauras-house-31-ways-in-31-days/
This year’s Honorary Event Chair was Laura’s House advocate Donna Pickup who, with husband Dick Pickup, is co-owner of the Balboa Bay Resort. Presenting Sponsors were Laura Khouri and Michael K. Hayde, CEO and chairman of the board of Western National Group. 2014 sponsors included: The Argyros Family Foundation; Donna & Richard Pickup; Haskell & White, LLP; The Jacqueline Glass Family; Verizon Wireless; Lisa & Les Fujimoto; The Joe MacPherson; Foundation; The Thompson Foundation; Wolin Design Group; The Busch Group; Laura Feld; Frome Foundation; Gerson Bakar & Associates; Gibson,Dunn & Crutcher LLP; IHP Capital Partners; Local.com; Morgan Stanley/The Timpe Group; and Rutan & Tucker LLP.
About Laura’s House
The mission of Laura’s House is to change the social beliefs, attitudes and the behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space to empower individuals and families affected by abuse.
In 2014, Laura’s House celebrates its 20th anniversary serving those whose lives have been affected by domestic violence. For the past two decades, Laura’s House has provided shelter and support services to more than 4,000 battered women and children and counseling, life skills education and legal assistance to over 45,000 people. Connect with Laura’s House on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
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