Stories & Sparkle: Five Acres’ Soirée Under The Stars, Five Acres Soiree Under the Stars, Gamble House, Matt Lillard, Carla Gugino

“I too was a foster child, and were it not for the kindness of strangers
at those most vulnerable of moments, my road would have been rocky.”
— DawnMarie Kotsonis, Auctioneer

  Five Acres hosted its annual gala at the historic Gamble House with more than 250 of Pasadena’s leading community members, politicians, supporters, and volunteers on Saturday, June 4, 2016. Gala co-chairs Chris Selak of Lionsgate Entertainment and Sandy Walia of Wells Fargo, along with twenty dedicated gala sponsorship committee members planned an unforgettable evening to raise funds for Five Acres programs and services.

THE RECAP  The evening, inspired by the historic setting, began with an Edwardian themed cocktail garden party featuring hors d’oeuvres by local chef extraordinaire Claude Beltran (Claude & Co Catering), and complemented by a silent auction including items from Disney, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures and local museums.

Celebrity emcees, actors Carla Gugino (San Andreas, Spy Kids, Entourage) and Matthew Lillard (Scream, The Descendants, Scooby Do 1 & 2) kicked off the program and entertained guests. “Gavel Girl” DawnMarie Kotsonis revealed that she too was a foster child, before rousing guests and raising money during the live auction. The program continued with a message from Five Acres CEO Chanel Boutakidis, a video with interviews of Five Acres alumns and a personal adoption story from Maria Perez Schweitzer.

A 1934 Packard parked in front of The Gamble House made for classic photo ops, while The Happiness Band played big band and jazz favorites. Guests marveled at a lively dance routine performed by dancers as seen on “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” while enjoying a final night cap, and treats from Jones Coffee and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

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