Hillsides annual gala, “A Celebration of Art,” held at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on February 22, raised more than $450,000 for children and families in need throughout Los Angeles County. Some 375 guests enjoyed an evening of fine dining, entertainment, and dancing while raising money for Hillsides programs and services.

“We are thrilled that our annual event, which was months in the making, was able to raise such a tremendous amount of money to help support our mission of creating lasting change in the lives of children, youth, and families,” said Joseph M. Costa, Hillsides chief executive officer. “I would like to give a special thank you to our hard-working gala chair, Susan Pinsky, and her entire committee. We could not have put on such a successful event without their incredible support.”

During the evening, which contained two silent auctions and a fast and furious live auction, guests bid on a variety of items, including over a dozen works of art. The charity raised almost $70,000 alone on the live auction. Top items auctioned included a Fender Telecaster guitar autographed by Nancy Wilson, a painting by famed Southern expressionist Steffen Thomas, a trip to Deer Valley on a private jet, and a Viking River cruise down the Danube. The auctioneer for the evening was NBC4 weatherman Fritz Coleman, who has been a supporter of Hillsides for more than 20 years.

The evening kicked off with cocktails and a silent auction. During dinner, guests enjoyed a performance by a talented group of dancers from Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. Hillsides board chair, Karen Tanji, next welcomed the guests to the gala, noting that the non-profit is celebrating its 101 anniversary. She was followed by chair event Pinsky, who introduced members of the honorary gala committee, which included her husband, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Colleen Williams of NBC 4 News, and Clara and Hank Maarse, whose business, Jacob Maarse Florists, donated all the flowers for the evening.

CEO Costa next spoke, thanking the sponsors at the $10,000 level or greater. which included Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Bolton & Company Insurance Brokers, Avery Dennison, Don and Sally Clark, the Brian Claypool family, Beth Gertmenian, Linda and Stephen Gill, The Havner Family Foundation, Jacob Maarse Florists- Clara Maarse and Hank Maarse, Kaiser Permanente, Susan and Bill Noce, Nordstrom, Paul Rusnak- Rusnak Auto Group, Sherm and Marge Telleen, Swanton Family Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, Wells Fargo Private Bank, and Western Asset Management.

Next it was onto the dinner and the live auction, followed by a video that highlighted the power of arts for the children and youth at Hillsides and how Hillsides transforms lives. The evening ended with guests dancing to the tunes of a live band that covered hits from throughout the decades.

Hillsides chose the theme of the evening, “A Celebration of Art,” to acknowledge that at heart, the non-profit is an artist as it works to transform children’s pain and trauma into hope and healing. The theme also recognizes that Hillsides helps children turn their lives around through creative endeavors, such as drawing, sculpting, painting, and playing musical instruments.

Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and families. Headquartered in Pasadena, Hillsides serves families and children throughout Los Angeles County. For more information, please visit www.hillsides.org.