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Ninth Annual Forte for Children Gala Brings in Over $448,000

Plus good news for the ovarian cancer community, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, Escondido arts and culture organizations, and the San Diego Center for Children

DEI Holdings Chairman Jim Minarik, fusion artist Aloe Blacc, Sound United CEO Kevin Duffy, and Forte Executive Director Elizabeth Fox with members of the Boys & Girls club

Consumer electronics firm DEI Holdings' Forte for Children Foundation distributed more than $448,000 to North County Boys & Girls Clubs and a handful of other youth organizations following its Rhythm of Your Life Charity Gala Sept. 8. More than 350 guests attended the nonprofit’s ninth annual gala at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, which featured a performance by fusion artist Aloe Blacc, live and silent auctions, and more entertainment from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside and Vista. Forte for Children has raised more than $5 million to support disadvantaged youth since it was founded in 2001. 

“We look forward to seeing the funds raised this year impact the lives of many children in our community over the coming year,” said Jim Minarik, chairman and founder of Forte for Children and president of DEI’s board of directors.


Hillary Theakston, Andy Laats, Buck Dodson, and Dr. Laura Shawver at the Clearity Foundation’s 10th anniversary celebration

The Clearity Foundation, which helps ovarian cancer patients access molecular testing, clinical trials and support, celebrated its 10thanniversary by hosting an event, Teal Woman: Celebrating Life. Honoring Courage. Recognizing Progress. Changing the Story for Ovarian Cancer, on Sept. 16. During the event at the Paradise Point Resort, speed painter, performance artist, and ovarian cancer survivor Amy Burkman created two canvases to be auctioned. Musical entertainment was provided by America’s Got Talent runner-up Caly Bevier, also an ovarian cancer survivor, and Eve Selis. More than 375 people attended and the event raised $340,000 for programs and services benefiting the ovarian cancer community. 

“Clearity’s team operates where biology and scientific data meets a human life, complete with fear and joy, conflicts and courage, uncertainty and strength. We connect with families in times of hope and despair, offering insight along with empathy, helping them to feel more in control of their disease and more aware of their options,” said Clearity’s Executive Director Hillary Theakston. 

AimLoan.com CEO Vince Kasperick, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and San Diego Food Bank CEO James Floros at the 2018 San Diego Blues Fest|Photo: Jon Naugle

The eighth annual AimLoan.com San Diego Blues Fest on Sept. 8 brought in more than $200,000 and 3,000 pounds of food for the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. The event’s proceeds and food drive donations will provide more than 1 million meals for needy San Diegans. 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and his band headlined the event at Embarcadero Marina Park North. Other performers included Kenny Neal, John Nemeth & The Blue Dreamers, Lightnin’ Malcolm, and The Sons of The Soul Revivers, and three local acts: Chickenbone Slim & The Biscuits, Sarah Rogo, and Fred Heath.


Woody Woodaman, Rosemary Burson, Jan Bourgeois, Chrisanne Moats, Brian Murphy, and Ceci Lusky celebrate the ECF grant to the Escondido Arts Partnership

Escondido Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, awarded grants totaling $183,910 to six area arts and culture organizations. Grants in varying amount are going toward The Civic Youth Orchestra’s Allegro Project; the Escondido Arts Partnership’s Local Color and Flag Project; the Escondido Community Child Development Center’s The Wall Speaks mosaic; the Escondido History Center’s restoration of a Victorian House in Grape Day Park; the La Jolla Playhouse’s history appreciation project, Excavating Escondido II: An Interactive Adventure in Discovery; and the Tierra Caliente Academy of Arts Ticitozaa Folklorico Dance Festival. 

“With our 2018-2019 grantmaking, members chose to invest in arts and cultural experiences that increase civic pride, positively impact the image of Escondido and create meaningful experiences within our community,” said Jackie Skay, Board Chair for ECF.


The Zable Foundation recently awarded $30,000 to the San Diego Center for Children to support its therapeutic and educational programs

The San Diego Center for Children is using the $30,000 it recently received from the Zable Foundation in part to support its Empowered Families Program, which helps families better cope with the needs and challenges that come with caring for a child with a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder. Empowered Families initially launched last year as a pilot program and served 312 families. According to The San Diego Center for Children, mental health challenges affect one in five youth in San Diego. It’s estimated that over half of California children may need mental health care and/or counseling by the age 18, but less than 20 percent receive the help they need. 

Do you have good news to share? Email us at goodnews@sdmag.com.

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