SPARK Gala Raises $2.5 Million (San Diego Magazine)

By Joyce Glazer

The UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center SPARK Gala, an evening to “ignite the fight against cancer,” was held on Apr. 16 at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. $2.5 million were raised through the raise-the-paddle “SPARK the Cure” and the live auction. Proceeds will accelerate the launch of the Novel Cell Therapy Program. Sponsors includedthe Fred B. Luddy Family Foundation, Immunotherapy Foundation, Eisenhower Medical Center, Wanda & Cam Garner, Magda Marquet & Francois Ferre and Carol Vassiliadis.

Cygnet Theatre held its Soiree by the Bay at Coasterra on Harbor Island.  The event raised $175,000 to support Cygnet Theatre focused on the Artist Advocate program, a collaboration of donors coming together to support the artists that make it all happen. Donors can support an actor, designer, director, stage manager or cast at levels from $500 to $25,000.

The Old Globe received a $75,000 donation from the Blachford-Cooper Fund at the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation. The Blachford-Cooper Fund is one of 16 Donor Advised Funds that are managed by the SDHDF. “This gift will help sustain the Globe’s year-round artistic operations. Their philanthropy makes a difference and sets an example for others to follow, “ said Artistic Director Barry Edelstein.

Miramar Federal Credit Union has partnered with San Diego State University in a two year agreement to aid and encourage military and veteran students throughout San Diego County. After pledging a $10,000 Veteran Book Scholarship to the Barron Veterans Center at SDSU earlier this year, MFed will sponsor the SDSU 2016 Army ROTC Commencement Ceremony on the USS Midway on May 13, 2016.

San Diego Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s hosted Girls’ Night Out event in Carlsbad to launch Habitat’s National Women Build Week. On Apr. 28 volunteers met in a Lowe’s parking lot to frame a house. Women, including Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers, worked alongside Habitat homeowner families at the Girls’ Night Out evening. Customers may make donations to Habitat for Humanity in Lowe’s stores in the San Diego County area until May 31. All donations will benefit Habit for Humanity  and families in our community.

Opportunity for Impact, the 2016 Barrio Logan College Institute annual fundraiser is being held on May 12 at the San Diego Central Library. Sponsors include SDG&E, Sempra Energy and Southwest Airlines. The money raised will directly support children who are currently in the BLCI program, as well as enable future students to fulfill their aspirations of a higher education.

The New Children’s Museum held a rededication ceremony for the park on Apr. 8. Wawanesa Insurance presented a $14,000 check to help fund the new equipment in the park. Congressman Scott Peters, Kris Michell, Downtown San Diego Partnership, and Anthony Bernal from Councilman Todd Gloria’s office, were present along with Museum Executive Director Judy Forrester. The Museum has two outdoor play areas with play equipment as well as an outdoor garden that is used for workshops and classes for children.

The San Diego Foundation has secured $200,000 in technical assistance from the National Council on Crime & Delinquency grantee of the Corporation for National and Community Service Social Innovation Fund.  The monies will be used to conduct a Pay For Success feasibility study for a program that would successfully transition reentry youth age 14-29 by providing access to housing, education and employment in San Diego County.

Mission Federal Credit Union sponsored El Zapaton ( The Big Shoe Drive) along with Invasora 99.7 FM and Pulsar 107.3 FM. The event was held to collect new and gently used shoes for children in need at Father Joe’s Villages. The shoe drive exceeded its goal of collecting 500 pair of shoes, representing the number of homeless children in San Diego, by 50. The community was invited to join Mission Fed on Apr. 22 at JC Penney in Westfield Plaza Bonita to drop off shoes for a chance to win prizes.

Urban Art Program Writerz Blok launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $25,000 to expand its facility and add more job-training programs that connect youth to creative careers. A community event to kick off the campaign was held on Mar. 19 at Writerz Blok across from the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center. The money raised will go toward expanding Writerz Blok’s facility to provide more classroom space and increase its youth programs to include training in graphic design, screen-printing, web development, and coding.

Please send news items to Joyce Glazer at joyceg@sandiegomagazine.com.