Hillsides, which was founded 103 years ago and serves more than 6,200 children and families throughout Los Angeles County. The charitable organization held their annual gala which hosted a slew of philanthropist, supporters, notables like Dr. Drew Pinsky. The Symphony of Dreams gala raised $408,000. The glamorous evening was held at the posh Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. More than 400 guests packed the ballroom for a wonderful night, just before the Academy Awards were to take place the following day. Before the program started, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Young Men’s Ensemble serenaded guests as they entered the hall. Attendees enjoy cocktails and bites, all while bidding on silent auction items.
As dinner started, 2015 “American Idol” Top 4 Finalist Rayvon Owen warmed up the crowd with a spirited rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” and later performed an original song about the redeeming power of love, “Rescue.”
The emotional high point of the evening was the speech by Rose Princess Marquez. She spoke about a harrowing childhood spent on the streets with an abusive mother before she and her siblings were adopted. In high school, when her traumatic past began to catch up to her. Marquez credits her Hillsides therapist with giving her the courage to try out for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court, calling the therapist her mentor and inspiration. “I truly believe Hillsides has not only opened up doors for me, but has also assisted me in trying to find myself in the midst of everything else,” she said.
During the evening, guests also had a chance to bid on 11 packages during the live auction emceed by NBC4 Southern California Weathercaster Fritz Coleman. Hillsides founded in 1913 and headquartered in Pasadena, is a premier provider of child welfare services serving families in crisis and children in foster care. For more information about Hillsides, please visit www.hillsides.org.