(September 21, 2010) La Jolla, CA-The stunning sunset matched the sparkling crowd of almost 540 guests at Starry, Starry Night, the annual event benefiting Voices for Children’s vital work with the foster children of San Diego County. The al frescogala took place September 10 at the La Jolla estate of Joan Waitt. The successful event exceeded previous records and netted more than $600,000 for court advocacy, assessment, and mentoring services for foster children.
The eighth annual Starry, Starry Night came to life thanks to the talented team of Co-Chairs Dawn and Bill Davidson and Caroline and Anthony Farwell, Honorary Chair Joan Waitt, the Honorary Committee, and the Starry, Starry Night Event Committee. Magical Night sponsors were Irving Hughes and David and Patsy Marino. Starburst sponsors included Bank of America, Genentech, KPBS, 102.1 KPRI, ProFlowers, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, while Fuller Jenkins and San Diego Magazine contributed at theMoonlight level. Underwriters were BIA Cares, Fujifilm Medical Systems, San Diego County Credit Union, and Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP. Other sponsors were Blue Ice American Vodka, Clare Webber Events, Excelsior Wines, FIJI Water, North Shore Printery, Oro Azul Tequila, Veramonte Winery, Pamplemousse Grille, and Redfearn & Associates who masterminded the production. Many others donated items for the auctions.
President/CEO Sharon M. Lawrence expressed her gratitude, “I am indebted to everyone who so generously supported Starry, Starry Night. With the funds raised, we can provide more children with the life-changing services of a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer. We are proud Voices for Children assessed the case files of every foster child in the system and provided 1,105 of them with CASAs last year, but thousands more in foster care today are waiting for this special person to help them during a traumatic time. Thanks to everyone who made Starry, Starry Night a success, many children will have our help through their difficult journeys.”
Honorary Chair Joan Waitt said, “What a beautiful evening! We successfully netted more than $600,000 for Voices for Children, thanks to the dedication and generosity of so many. My children and I are honored to be a part of the important work done by this agency and its dedicated volunteers. We are all committed to making a difference in the lives of desperate children in need.” Anthony Farwell, a Board Member of Voices for Children and Event Co-Chair with his wife Caroline, added, “We are grateful for the hard work and creativity of everyone on the Event Committee and the wonderful philanthropy of our Honorary Committee members.” Dawn Davidson, who served as the other Event Co-Chair with her husband, Bill Davidson, added, “We could not be more pleased or proud to have been part of this beautiful event. Starry, Starry Night is the major annual benefit for Voices for Children-a wonderful agency that does so much for foster children in our community.”
Guests entered the large lawn at the Waitt home to the rhythms of Ruby and the Red Hots and encountered a spectacular array of floral decorations and eye-catching tables decked in jewel colors eggplant, golden orange and green by Clare Webber Designs. The celebrations began with a festive cocktail feast of delicacies from Pamplemousse Grille, including Kobe beef sliders with truffle cheese, parmesan cheese toasts, and wonton tacos filled with roast duck and hoisin sauce. Noted Chef Jeffrey Strauss of Pamplemousse Grille created another exceptional dinner for Starry, Starry Night, which began with an arugula salad topped with watermelon, grilled artichoke, crispy goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, and a whimsical puff pastry “star.” The main course was porcini-dusted sea bass with sautéed French beans, asparagus polenta cake with port wine sauce, and purple micro greens. For dessert, Chef Strauss served a chocolate espresso torte with marinated berries, crème fraiche, fresh mint, and raspberry sauce.
On stage, emcees Robert Hughes of 102.1 KPRI and Rory Devine of NBC 7/39 kept the program moving. Hostess Joan Waitt and her children were honored by Voices for Children for their extraordinary support and contributions with the first Celestial Award. A rousing live auction was masterfully led by auctioneer Bill Menish and included exceptional prizes.
The emcees also presented Voices for Children’s compelling case for supporting foster children. A video produced by Bob La Porta of BLP Productions was followed by an appearance by two of Voices for Children’s Real Word speakers-young adults who have benefited from having CASAs. Immediately after, Menish conducted the most important “auction” of all-Fund-A-CASA. Two anonymous donors challenged Starry, Starry Night attendees by offering to match the first $50,000, resulting in many raised bid numbers and record results. As the program ended, Ruby and the Red Hots took the stage and energized the dance floor.
Starry, Starry Night is Voices for Children’s major fundraising event. Net income will help the agency achieve its annual fundraising goals so more foster children in San Diego are served with a caring volunteer CASA. The event also heightens awareness of the needs of the abused and neglected youth in San Diego County’s foster care system. For more information about Starry, Starry Night, please contact Kim Penny at (858) 598-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.