St. Paul’s Senior Services’ annual LUV Gala took place on Saturday, August 11, at the beautiful Hilton San Diego Bayfront downtown. We celebrated the love and magic St. Paul’s brings every day to so many wonderful seniors who live in our communities and participate in our daily programs. All proceeds from the event will benefit seniors living at St. Paul’s Villa, an assisted living and memory care community in Bankers Hill. Funds will be used to improve senior’s living environment with paint throughout the building and a brand new dining experience with new décor, chairs, and tables for senior residents.
Overall numbers are still being tallied, but with more than 90 silent auction items and one-of-a-kind experiences during the live auction, more than $30,000 was raised from the auctions! For travel enthusiasts, there was a round-trip airfare to the Big Apple and house seats to the Tony-winning musical “Come From Away,” AND an exclusive tour of multi-million dollar New York City homes. For sports fans, there was a fantastic Tony Gwynn package that includes a signed baseball and bat, a baseball card plaque, and even an LP record album of the Padres 1984 Championship Season!
Guests delighted in a wine pull, hors-d’oeuvres reception, and sit-down dinner. There was plenty of dancing too! You can view photos on St. Paul’s Senior Services Facebook page.
“I was so excited and enthused about this year’s LUV Gala,” exclaimed LUV Gala Chair Eleanor Mohammed.
In a pre-event article in The San Diego Union-Tribune, Eleanor shared why this LUV Gala was so close to her heart. She provides home care for her mother, Gwyndolin, who has dementia and participates in St. Paul’s Senior Day program. Eleanor selected the theme The Magic of LUV because she believes that where there is LUV, there is Magic.
To make the event even more magical, entertainment included an amazing troupe of Cirque performers who astonished with their unique blend of athleticism, humor, and artistry. Guests also enjoyed live music from GRAMMY award-winning musician Kamau Kenyatta and Friends.
This year’s Gala honored Veronica “Ronne” Froman (RADM, USN, Ret.), an American retired naval officer. She was the first woman to serve as commander of the United States Navy Region Southwest, a position known as the “Navy Mayor of San Diego.” She retired from the Navy in 2001 with the rank of rear admiral, after a 31-year career.
Following her retirement she took on several high-profile civilian positions in San Diego, California: chief of business operations for the San Diego Unified School District; CEO of the local chapter of the American Red Cross; and the first Chief Operating Officer for the city of San Diego. She is a strong supporter of housing homeless veterans and believes strongly in St. Paul’s permanent supportive housing program for seniors and veterans.
Throwing a fundraiser for 400 people takes time and patience. Nine months ago, a planning committee came together and committed their time, talent, and treasure to make sure people had a profound experience. These special people include: Eleanor Mohammed, Chair; Letty Alvarez; Dave Blum; Patrice Brooks; Pat Brown; Kathryn Bunch; Suzanne Cech; Judy Crippen; Tamela Cross; Mary Hunter; Mary Hustwick; Vicki Kelley; Muragi Kenyatta; Pat Kreder; Tanya Lewis; Marilyn MacNair; Sandra McCreight; Janene McIntyre; Josie Oakley; Kristin Phillis and Jeff Bingham; Connie Sterling; and Maria Ye.
Many people ask what does the acronym ‘LUV’ mean? It stands for Love Uniting Volunteers. This is the original auxiliary group of St. Paul’s Senior Services. Over the years, LUV has raised more than $2.5 million for the programs and services of St. Paul’s Senior Services. We are so grateful for LUV’s support.
If you would like to volunteer or help plan the 2019 St. Paul’s LUV Gala, please reach out to Craig Smith, Event Manager, at 619-239-6900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The planning begins in early 2019!