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The Best Charity Galas of 2021

In case you missed them, here’s a recap of the biggest fundraisers of the year
Best Charity Galas of 2021

Soprano Michelle Bradley performing at the San Diego Opera’s Midsummer Gala

April 10, 2021

Episcopal Community Services 

Making Miracles Gala 


Episcopal Community Services’ hybrid online and in-person Old Hollywood–themed Making Miracles Gala raised $175,000 to support programs that address mental health, child development, substance use disorders, and homelessness in San Diego. Their signature event was the first gala to take place in person since the pandemic began.

Best Charity Galas of 2021 - Midsummer Gala

Honoree Stacy Kellner Rosenberg with Mayor Todd Gloria, Representative Scott Peters, and Supervisor Nathan Fletcher

June 26, 2021

San Diego Opera 

Midsummer Gala

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

Star soprano Michelle Bradley’s performance earned a standing ovation at San Diego Opera’s Midsummer Gala, Musical Mosaics. Attendees also celebrated the charitable contributions of board member Stacy Kellner Rosenberg, and local politicians issued a proclamation declaring June 26 “Stacy Kellner Rosenberg Day” in her honor.

Best Charity Galas - Jewel Ball

Mark Sottosanti, Las Patronas President Martha Sottosanti, “James Bond,” Jewel Ball Chair

August 7, 2021

Las Patronas 

75th Annual Jewel Ball 

La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club was transformed into the glamorous world of James Bond for Las Patronas’ 75th annual Jewel Ball. The black-tie Diamonds Are Forever gala with approximately 600 guests was the culmination of a year of fundraising for various nonprofits.


August 7, 2021

Living Coast Discovery Center 

Farm to Bay 2021

This sold-out fundraiser in Chula Vista raised $110,000 to support Living Coast Discovery Center’s coastal wildlife conservation, education, and sustainability programs. About 84 percent of the waste from the event was diverted from the landfill, and 186 pounds was recycled or composted.


Best Charity Galas of 2021 - Black Swan

Brooke Pappas, Danielle Ferree, Besjana Hoxha, Stephanie Myers

August 21, 2021

Black Swan Initiative 

Summer Gatsby Gala

Private Home

The Black Swan Initiative’s first Summer Gatsby Gala raised $113,500 for Córazon de Vida, an organization that provides support for orphaned and abandoned kids in Baja California. Over 160 guests enjoyed entertainment by musicians, dancers, sculptors, a contortionist, and a mermaid.


August 28, 2021

The Vision of Children Foundation 

A Night for Sight 

Fairbanks Ranch Country Club

Singer-songwriter A. J. Croce performed hits written by his father, Jim Croce, as well as his own music at The Vision of Children Foundation’s A Night for Sight concert. The event raised critical funds for vision research at UC San Diego Health.


September 13, 2021


Dream On Concert Gala

Foxhill Estate

Belinda Carlisle performed for guests at Promises2Kids’ 12th annual Dream On Concert Gala, held at the Foxhill Estate of Doug Manchester in La Jolla. The sold-out event raised $1.4 million to help current and former foster youth.

Best Charity Galas of 2021 - Mainly Mozart

Performance by the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra

September 25, 2021

Voices for Children

Starry Starry Night

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

Voices for Children’s signature event raised over $2.4 million for its court-appointed special advocate program, which pairs volunteer advocates with children in foster care. Guests viewed the premiere of Always in My Life, a video highlighting siblings who were separated in foster care but were able to maintain their bond thanks to their advocate.

Best Charity Galas of 2021 - Lucky Duck

Youth leaders of the Lucky Duckling program

September 27, 2021

Lucky Duck Foundation

Swing & Soirée

Santaluz Club

The Lucky Duck Foundation, which works to alleviate homelessness, honored the late Father Joe Carroll at its annual Swing & Soirée fundraiser with the creation of the Father Joe Hustler of the Year Award. Youth Assistance Coalition founder and executive director Heather Lezon was named the first recipient.

Best Charity Galas of 2021 - Fur Ball

A Fur Ball guest on his best behavior

October 2, 2021

San Diego Humane Society 

Fur Ball

San Diego Humane Society Campus

Roughly 600 people and 200 pets showed off their Old Hollywood glam at San Diego Humane Society’s 35th annual Fur Ball gala. The event at SDHS’s Morena-area campus raised more than $1 million.

October 2, 2021

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts

30th Annual Butterfly Ball

Hard Rock Hotel

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts raised more than $300,000 at its “Here Comes the Sun” Butterfly Ball to provide life-changing reconstructive surgery to disadvantaged youth with physical deformities at no cost to their families. The event at the Hard Rock Hotel included a performance by Beatles tribute band The Fab Four, a three-course dinner, and live and silent auctions.

Best Charity Galas of 2021 - Serving Seniors

Guests enjoyed a bayfront sunset and views

October 2, 2021

Serving Seniors 

50th + 1 Anniversary Sunshine Gala

Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Former Eagles guitarist Don Felder entertained guests at Serving Seniors’ Sunshine Gala at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. Despite two pandemic-related postponements, the event went off without a hitch and raised critical funds to support local low-income seniors.

October 19, 2021

San Diego Police Foundation

K9 Soirée

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina

Titan, a police service dog who was stabbed in the line of duty, was awarded a Purple Heart at the San Diego Police Foundation’s K9 Soirée. Proceeds from the event will be used to fund police dogs and cover associated needs of the police K9 unit.

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