I hope that all of you who were at the 18th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards gala on Saturday, February 11 felt we delivered on our theme for the evening: “One Day – A Message of Hope.”
The tragic news of Whitney Houston’s death just shortly before the gala began shook some of the performers … but as true professionals, Queen Latifah, Wynonna Judd, Megan Mullally, and David Burnham all delivered incredible performances.
Our honorees – Peter Gallagher, Karolee Sowle, Andrew Green, Hydeia Broadbent, and Matt Bomer – delivered touching, inclusive acceptance speeches that reminded us that we’re all in this together. A special thanks to our incredible sponsors, donors, and volunteers who “walk that walk” every day through their generous donation of time, talent, and money to Desert AIDS Project.
The biggest news of the evening came when Annette Bloch announced a $1 MILLION gift to create the Annette Bloch Cancer Care Center at D.A.P.!!
Her news inspired others during the “Fund a Need” section of our live auction, raising an additional $120,000 for client care and social services. Those pledging $10,000 included John Conboy, Jim Burba and Bob Hayes, Michael Johnston and David Zippel, and Terri and Bart Ketover. Pledging $5,000 each were Earl Gauger, Jim Houston, Jim Hurley, Harold Matzner, Cookie and Mike Miller, and Kirstin Pollack.
Among those cheering the loudest was Jim Casey, CEO of Integrated Wealth Management, now in the fourth year of a five-year, million-dollar commitment as Presenting Sponsor of the annual gala. Jim and his gala co-chair, the resplendent Barbara Keller, have done an amazing job for the fourth consecutive year.
Although I’m not sure HOW they’re going to do it, they are promising to REALLY knock our socks off with next year’s gala … so put February 9, 2013 on your calendar now!!
Returning once again as Pinnacle Sponsor at $125,000 was Wells Fargo, represented by Tim Hanlon, attending the gala with his partner, Tony Klatt. Harold Matzner, Time Warner Cable, and Walgreens, each provided $50,000 as Producing Sponsors. Annette Bloch, Desert Regional Medical Center, and Helene Galen each contributed $25,000 for the third consecutive year as Award Sponsors, as did our Major Sponsors The Auen Foundation, Eisenhower Medical Center, Integrated Mortgage Management, and Union Bank. I hope you will join me in thanking and supporting all of these wonderful people and organizations. For a complete list of the gala’s Star and Supporting Sponsors, Benefactors, and Patrons, please see our website.
The live auction portion of the evening – raising $95,500 – included THREE catered affairs by LULU from Barbara and Jerry Keller and Wille Rhine, a VIP Experience for “The Book of Mormon” in New York City, a party package from Milan Tojagic of Shame on the Moon, and a car donated by FIAT of Palm Springs.
A final thank you to all of our media sponsors and the press that covered the gala. Thanks to them, we received incredible coverage in Palm Springs, nationwide through E! News, and around the world through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. For more photos of the event, please visit the D.A.P. website, our Facebook page, or the Wire Image website.
The final accounting of the 18th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards is still being completed. We don’t yet know if we’ll achieve our goal of $1.5 million raised but we DO know – yet again – how incredibly fortunate we are to have the support of all of you.
Until there’s a cure …
David Brinkman, MBA
CEO, Desert AIDS Project