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The San Diego Center for Children Raises $410,000 at Their 131st Anniversary Gala

Plus The Salvation Army, St. Germaine's Children's Charity, and Promises2Kids all come through with big wins for San Diego's struggling youth and families



Laurel Krzeminski, Evelyn Heald, Vince Heald, Grammy nominated artist Andra Day (who sang her hit song, “Rise Up!” with the Center’s youth choir), Joyce Glazer, Clinton Walters, Ray Riley

The San Diego Center for Children’s 131st Anniversary Celebration, Rise Up! In the Name of Children, raised $410,000 at Humphreys by the Bay June 9.

The funds will help provide much-needed services to kids and families struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. San Diego’s oldest children’s nonprofit organization, the Center has been helping local families since 1887 and, thanks to the Rise Up! gala, will continue to offer special care and services to those in need.

“We are grateful to [Center's 2018 PATH Award recipient] SDG&E and to the generous corporate and individual support from so many in our community that allow us to build on our rich 131-year history to find new and innovative ways to bring care to even more families in need,” said Moisés Barón, Ph.D., President and CEO of the San Diego Center for Children.

The Salvation Army’s 53rd annual Women of Dedication luncheon welcomed hundreds of guests to the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina on May 30. Pre-lunch festivities included shopping and a silent auction. Entertainment during the “Wonder Women” themed celebration included live music, an amusing speech by Darlene Shiley, and live auction, as well as personalized songs performed live for each of the 12 honorees or “Wonder Women” who have gone above and beyond as volunteers in our community. The event’s Honorary Chairs, Bill and Susan Hoehn, were also honored for their longtime support of the Salvation Army.

The beneficiaries of the event are social service programs at The Salvation Army’s Centre City Community Corps, as well as other programs addressing human trafficking and homelessness in San Diego.

This year’s 12 Honorees or “Wonder Women” are Deborah Cross, Suzi Day, Laurnie Durisoe, Angela Harris, Dayna Hoff, Kimberly Hunt, Regina Kurtz, Sally Watt Oxley, Rana Sampson, Claudia Thompson, Vickie Turner and Kathryn Vaughn. Chairs of the event are Kristy Gregg, Dee Ammon and Molly Cartmill.

During an annual luncheon at La Jolla Country Club, St. Germaine Children’s Charity recognized 11 nonprofit organizations changing the lives of children in San Diego County. These nonprofits work tirelessly to prevent and stop child abuse and improve the lives of neglected children.

The St. Germaine Grants Committee reviewed numerous applications and conducted site visits, ultimately deciding to award a total of $150,000 in grants to Angels Foster Family Network; Armed Services YMCA; Casa de Amparo; Center for Community Solutions; Children’s Legal Services of San Diego; Walden Family Services; Crisis House; Home Start, Inc.; Kids’ Turn San Diego; SAY San Diego; and South Bay Community Services. The Barbara Christensen Heart of San Diego Award went to South Bay Community Services for its Mi Escuelita Therapeutic Preschool. In addition, an enormous basket of school supplies and wish-list items went to the preschool, in lieu of take-home favors for luncheon guests.

Promises2Kids, a nonprofit focusing on foster care and children’s welfare, has awarded 120 foster youth each with a $5,000 scholarship. Called the Promises2Kids Guardian Scholars program, it provides not just financial help but mentoring and support for these teens pursuing higher education, many of them the first in their family to do so.

“What makes Guardian Scholars unique,” said Tonya Torosian, CEO of Promises2Kids, “is that it holistically supports youth no matter what type of education they want to pursue—vocational, community college, or four-year university education. It offers the consistency necessary for youth to reach their educational goals placing them on the path to self-sufficiency for years to come.”

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