Voices for Children Gala Raises More Than $1.85 Million
Funds pledged at Starry Starry Night will provide advocacy to thousands of children in San Diego County foster care
Starry Starry Night, the signature event of Voices for Children (VFC), took place on Thursday, October 20 at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, San Diego’s spectacular bayside performance venue. Attendees, sponsors, and supporters contributed more than $1.85 million in gross revenue for VFC and its Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program. The funds raised at Starry Starry Night will allow VFC to provide CASA volunteers to abused, neglected, and abandoned children in foster care, helping ensure their voices are heard and needs are met. Last year, VFC supported nearly 1,000 CASAs and provided life-changing advocacy to more than 1,900 children living in foster care in San Diego County. The gala was chaired by Hanna and Mark Gleiberman, and their company MG Properties has long supported VFC. Every year, MG Properties team members go above and beyond to help local youth in foster care by putting on philanthropic events and volunteering their time with Voices for Children.
After enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres overlooking the beautiful San Diego Bay, over 500 guests were treated to an exquisite dining experience curated by renowned chef Richard Blais. Dinner entertainment was provided by talented musicians of the Mainly Mozart Youth who were later joined by the San Diego Children’s Choir for a heartwarming performance of the classic song “True Colors.”
Emceed by Marcella Lee, anchor and reporter at CBS 8 and the CW San Diego, the inspiring program began by reflecting on VFC’s impact over the last year and recognizing the 2022 CASA of the Year, Carlsbad resident, Tim Riley. Riley has advocated for six children in foster care during his 10 years as a CASA volunteer. After a rousing live auction led by auctioneer Clint Bell, attendees watched the premiere of “20 Years Later,” a video highlighting the story of siblings Luis and Sean Green, who lived in 11 placements over a period of four years. Their dedicated CASA, Art Tabanao, was not content to let them spend their childhood in foster care. He was very involved in their education, and helped the boys’ teachers understand how they could succeed. Thanks to his consistent involvement, tenacity and commitment to keep the brothers together, one of their teachers, Debi, took an interest in the boys and ended up adopting them. Watch the video here.
During the Fund-A-CASA paddle raise, guests made pledges from $100 up to $100,000 to recruit, train, and support new CASA volunteers. The evening ended with everyone on their feet dancing to the high-energy beats of DJ Cutlos Supreme.
Visit www.voicesforchildrenssn.org to view the full list of sponsors and underwriters.
ABOUT VOICES FOR CHILDREN
Founded in 1980, Voices for Children (VFC) transforms the lives of abused, neglected, and abandoned children in foster care in San Diego and Riverside Counties by providing them with trained, volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). CASA volunteers advocate for a foster child or sibling group in court, school, and in the community to ensure their needs are met. VFC believes that every child deserves a safe and permanent home, and strives to provide a CASA volunteer to every child in the foster care system who needs one. Last year, VFC CASAs and staff served more than 3,400 foster children across San Diego and Riverside Counties. For more information, visit www.speakupnow.org.