On Saturday, May 13, Father Joe’s Villages celebrated the 33rd Annual Children’s Charity Gala : Pioneering the Future at the U.S. Grant in downtown San Diego. More than 500 people gathered at the U.S. Grant Hotel to raise funds for Father Joe’s Villages’ Therapeutic Childcare Center and other services provided to over 400 children each year. The event raised more than $500,000, making it the most successful gala in Father Joe’s Villages’ history. This achievement was made possible by presenting sponsor Witt Lincoln and other sponsors including FMT Consultants, MRC Smart Technology Solutions, San Diego Fluid System Technologies, Banner Bank and Barney&Barney.
Gala attendees enjoyed a VIP reception with a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres and signature cocktails before the main program began. Emcee Bill Griffith presided over an exquisite dinner and delightful entertainment, including a live auction, music and awards. Local artist, Neil Shigley, provided one of the gala’s signature live auction items: a beautiful portrait of Father Joe Carroll.
Bishop Robert McElroy commenced the program with a beautiful invocation on the importance of giving and on the sacrifice and commitment that it takes to confront the challenge of homelessness in our community. Father Joe Carroll also attended the gala and received a standing ovation from the crowd in celebration of his lifetime of service to people who are homeless.
Next, the event premiered the first public viewing of Shine – an animated short film created by Father Joe’s Villages, local integrated marketing company i.d.e.a. and Golden-Globe nominated animation studio, Reel FX, intended to shift public perceptions of homelessness and inspire action. You can see the film yourself by visiting neighbor.org/wesee.
Father Joe’s Villages honored three community leaders who have remained long-time supporters of Father Joe’s Villages’ mission to end homelessness:
- Steve Boudreau received the Father Joe’s Villages award for continuing his family’s legacy of helping the homeless through the Red Boudreau Trial Lawyers Dinner.
- Father Gilbert Gentile received the Bishop Maher Award to recognize the impact of his mentoring and clinical supervision services starting at Father Joe’s Villages in 1990.
- Michael Eyer received the Pierre Toussaint Award for lending his years of financial expertise to Father Joe’s Villages and hosting the organization’s annual children’s Christmas party.
Lastly, San Diego’s favorite funk band, Atomic Groove, concluded the program with lively music and dancing.
By the end of the night, the event raised the record-setting total of over $500,000 for Father Joe’s Villages’ programs dedicated to children experiencing homelessness. Proceeds from the gala will help provide the housing and services children and families need to break the cycle of homelessness.