Annual Gala Raises $300,000, ‘Creating Hope’ for Individuals with Alzheimer’s

Inspiring evening brings funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease

Online PR News – 03-April-2015 – IRVINE, Calif. – Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County’s (AAOC) annual “Creating Hope” gala, presented by Lia and Victor Assad and the Iacocca Family Foundation, proved to be an inspiring affair. The event raised $300,000 in support of the nonprofit’s mission to provide effective treatments, prevention and no-cost programs and services for the 84,000 Orange County residents affected by the disease. Nearly 300 attended the sold-out event on Saturday, March 28 at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a triple threat – the numbers are climbing, there’s a lack of effective treatments and research costs are high,” said Jim McAleer, president and CEO of AAOC. “While there’s still so much work to be done, our signature gala presents an opportunity to gather with supporters because there is hope that one day we’ll have a world without this disease.”

The evening, themed “Rustic Elegance,” began with a cocktail hour featuring a signature purple drink, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction display filled with sought-after items. Next, guests enjoyed a gourmet three-course meal, live auction and music by The ChickBand, a popular Las Vegas cover band with a personal connection to Alzheimer’s. During the program, the organization celebrated four community individuals for their long-standing commitment to AAOC: Harry Crowell, Michelle Egerer, Bill Hogan and Paul Wexler. A touching video revealing the emotional journey these families have shared with the Alzheimer’s Association captivated the audience.

Gala proceeds were generated through sponsorships, underwriting, ticket sales, general donations, and silent and live auctions. The hot-ticket live auction item of the evening was a diamond jeweled cuff designed specifically for AAOC by mother/daughter team Frances and Charlotte Gadbois of Sloane Street, in honor of the mother/grandmother they lost to Alzheimer’s in March 2014. Additional auction items included an exclusive Napa Valley escape; a five-day trip to New York City with backstage passes for two Broadway shows; Anaheim Ducks suite and playoff seats; and a Corum Admiral’s Cup Leap Second 48 Titanium watch.

Event chairs were Jacque Dupont, Marc Carlson and Eydie and David MacInnis. In addition to presenting sponsor Lia and Victor Assad and the Iacocca Family Foundation, gala sponsors included: Roz and Harry Crowell; Dorothy A Dougher, Laguna Hills Estates, LLC; Jacque Dupont and Marc Carlson; Frances and Richard Gadbois; Gateway One Lending & Finance; Irvine Cottages; JLC Associates, Inc. General Contractor; Eydie and David MacInnis; Nancy and Sid Petersen; Sloane Street; Vista Gardens; Rosalyn and Paul Wexler; Caring Companions At Home; Michelle Egerer; Farmers & Merchants Bank; Farmers and Merchants Trust Company; Bill Hogan; Debi and Tom Pavlik; Oakmont of Whittier; Silverado Memory Care Communities; The Frome Family Foundation; and Villagio at Capriana. Underwriters included: Jacque Dupont and Marc Carlson; First American Trust; and Sycamore Chiropractic.

About Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter

The Alzheimer's Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Since 1982, Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter has been providing programs and services, free of charge, to Orange County residents with Alzheimer’s and related disorders, their families, caregivers, and the community. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative illness that weakens the memory and other cognitive and emotional functions. For more information, call the 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900, or visit