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Puttin' On the Ritz Los Gatos Style!

Los Gatos Community Foundation hosts CATillion Gala to support local scholarships, nonprofit grants and community improvement projects.

About $30,000 were raised Saturday evening for local scholarships, nonprofit grants and community improvement projects during the seventh annual Los Gatos Community Foundation's CATillion Gala at La Rinconada Country Club.

According to LGCF Executive Director Sharon Childs, the organization has raised $200,000 for such purposes during the past six years.

Some of the money's beneficiaries include the Auxiliary of Good Samaritan Hospital, a nonprofit organization that created ACCESS, or A Caring Community of Education, Services and Support, to help families of infants born prematurely or with special needs who face many challenges.

Foundation President Janice McCabe presented Los Gatos Councilwoman Diane McNutt with the President's Award for her longtime dedication to public service.

A total of 117 people rsvp'd for the event, titled “Puttin’ On the Ritz – Los Gatos Style.” Among those in attendance were several active business and community members, as well as local elected officials dressed to the theme of the Great Gatsby.

“We always strive for community awareness and successful events money wise to give back to the community,” Childs said.

Major event sponsors this year included foundation board member emeritus Adu Bagly, The Callahan Group, Eric Childs, CPA and the law firm of Sweeney, Mason, Wilson and Bosomworth.

The gala featured a live and silent auction with prizes donated by local residents and small businesses including a necklace designed and made by local resident Marilyn Dorsa and a trip to Kauai donated by foundation board member Nancy Walker with airfare provided by CATillion Chairperson Jan Morris of Peak Travel Group.

Morris, who has also served as the foundation’s immediate past president, said she organized the annual dinner as an effective way of raising money for the community, and every year the foundation hosts a different theme for the event.

Local metal sculptor Jeff Owen of Jeff Owen Artworks sculpted and donated 25 metal cat designs for auction. Santa Cruz '50s-era band the Sparkletones provided music for the evening.

Los Gatos Rotarian and longtime volunteer John Pencer lent his talents as the event’s auctioneer.

“He’s not a professional auctioneer, but loves doing it for the community,” Childs said of Pencer.

Local general contractor Barry Swenson provided complimentary wine, while Eric and Sharon Childs donated champagne served to attendees as they walked into the club.

“It’s been really rewarding to give back to the community you live in,” McCabe said. “The CATillion is a nice way to kick-off the holiday season, see some new faces and spread the word about the foundation to new attendees and get then to give more to the community.”

Also in attendance were Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman, Los Gatos Mayor Joe Pirzynski, Vice Mayor Steve Rice and past Mayor Randy Attaway.

According to McCabe, money raised from the CATillion events in the past has gone to LED lights for the Christmas tree in downtown Los Gatos, Christmas lights for Santa Cruz Avenue, the planting of trees downtown and the building of the Lyndon Bandstand in .

Larry Arzie November 07, 2011 at 06:19 PM
A class act in making things happen. Congratulations and many thanks.
Sharon Childs November 07, 2011 at 06:57 PM
Thanks to all the amazing people who attended our event and made it a huge success!
Brad Hayden November 07, 2011 at 11:41 PM
Three thumbs up to those who made this happen. As I used to work for American Musical Theater, I know a little about how much work goes into these events. Its good to see that even in these poor economic times there are still people out there who are willing and able to provide that very important step up to those who are less fortunate. For many, these scholarships are an important life line to staying in school. These people are our future and we need to support them as much as possible.
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) November 08, 2011 at 12:13 AM
Thank you Los Gatos Community Foundation for the great work that you do.
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) November 09, 2011 at 05:18 AM
Jeremy did an excellent job covering this event for Los Gatos Patch. Thank you, Jer, for being such an awesome reporter. Your pics are also getting noticed. Great work!

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