Casa Youth Shelter’s 33rd annual Commander’s Ball was held at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa on Saturday, October 1. Over 475 guests filled the grand ballroom for the black-tie dinner and auction fundraiser which raised over $200,000 for the shelter. Executive Director, Luciann Maulhardt thanked the hard work of the all-volunteer Auction Committee as well as the auction co-chairs, Scott Rifkin, C.O.O. of Los Alamitos Hospital, and Karen Klabouch, of Los Alamitos-based Green Street Interiors. “Without the volunteer support of our community leaders, and organizations such as the National Charity League, this night would not have been possible,” said Maulhardt.
The Commander’s Ball is so named in honor of the late Myldred E. Jones, who was a retired Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy when she founded the shelter in 1978. For the past 33 years, Casa Youth Shelter has been a tireless advocate for homeless, abandoned and throwaway teens, providing a total of 10,800 at-risk youth with shelter and crisis counseling through the years. Now in its 33rd year, Casa Youth Shelter has enjoyed the support of the local community and numerous local groups such as the Seal Beach Host Lions Club, Bay City Rodders, Rotary Club of Los Alamitos/Seal Beach, Woman’s Club of Leisure World in Seal Beach, Women’s Fellowship of Leisure World Community Church in Seal Beach, and Rossmoor Woman’s Club, to name just a few. This year’s celebration was a wonderful opportunity for the community to gather with fellow Casa supporters to enjoy a gourmet dinner, live music from a cappella group Simply Put, and continue to commemorate the memory of Ms. Jones.
Guests enjoyed a veritable feast, starting with crisp salad of Kenter greens with soft-ripened Brie, candied walnuts and dried cherries with a sherry vinaigrette dressing. The main course was a duet of succulent filet mignon with roasted California mushrooms and Gremolata-topped Sea Bass, with side of perfectly paired sundried tomato saffron risotto and vegetables. Dessert of Chocolate Pots de Crème with Chantilly Cream was a delectable finale.
After dinner, professional auctioneer Jeff Tanenbaum kept the night buzzing with excitement for the much anticipated live auction. Winners of some of the premier items included: Kevin and Jane Boylan who will attend the star-studded Directors Guild of America Awards Dinner and Ceremony with donors Kathryn and Doug Partis; Jillian and Dale Reid who will enjoy 5 days/4 nights at a seaside villa in Coco Beach, a surfer’s paradise in Nicaragua, donated by Chris and Brenda St. Hilaire; Dr. Wayne and Karen Freeman, together with Gary and Kristine Howard, who will be enjoying golf at beautiful Chambers Bay golf resort, host of the 2015 US Open Championship; and Carl and Linda Shay who opened their hearts and their happy home to adopt a beautiful Labradoodle puppy. Also, this year’s Sponsor-A-Kid segment of the live auction which raised over $82,000 alone demonstrated that guests such as Phillip and Sandra McElroy and Dr. Nasir and Dr. Sabira Tejani were truly inspired to give generously to support Casa’s shelter kids.
For more information about Casa’s programs and services please visit www.casayouthshelter.org.
Featured photo (updated)
Left to right: Michael McCrary, retired Los Alamitos Police Chief who gave the invocation; Karen Klabouch and Scott Rifkin, our 2011 auction co-chairs at the 2011 Commander’s Ball courtesy of Casa Youth Shelter.