AWS 26th Annual Gala Update
Thank you for making AWS's 26th Annual Gala a big
Thank you to all who were able to join us for our
26th Anniversary Gala, Rebuilding Dreams, as well as to
those of you who supported from afar. We were delighted that so
many of our founding members, long-term supporters, community
partners, friends and family, and newcomers found the time to join
us-and share in the celebration of AWS and its mission at our one
annual public event.
You braved the Giants' game snarls, the closure on 280, and
holiday jams on the Bay Bridge to make it to the Mission Bay
Conference Center. You participated generously in the silent
auction and raffle. And you made it possible for us to meet our
goal of reaching $7,000 from the floor for our matching grant!
In return we shared a lovely evening, including appearances by
members of AWS's extended family such as Dipti Ghosh as emcee,
Shawna Sodersten as guest entertainment, and our courageous
speaker, another member of the AWS family, who shared her story of
We hope that all of you, in addition to those who were unable to
attend this year, will join us next year!
This year we honored several individuals who made a huge impact
on the ability of survivors at AWS to rebuild dreams. Their
generosity and ingenuity contributed so much to our shelter and its
programs, including support for:
- Staff development;
- A new roof;
- A beautifully designed and equipped new Children's room and
- A refurbished kitchen;
- New beds; and
- A redesigned garden, where the smell of jasmine invites adults
to relax and children to play in the midst of new growth.
Bright Spaces Foundation
Through the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, Bright
Horizons-a national provider of child care and early child
education centers-supports non-profit organizations through the
creation and renovation of Bright Spaces-places for children in
various types of temporary living situations to play and
grow. Bright Spaces Directors Elizabeth Chrisman, Lalaine
Monteclaro, Stac'i Collins, and Janet Lambert provided the
expertise and the labor for the AWS Bright Space.
The memory of Marie Mendenhall Cleasby and Gilbert W.
Cleasby, M.D., whose bequest grants are managed by the San
The Cleasbys were long term residents of San Francisco with a
wide variety of interests, including their love of gardening and
their legacy of improving the lives of women and children.
Through a donor advised grant, their generosity enabled us to make
household renovations and transform our garden into a thing of
Loretta Huahn, a longtime community advocate and one of the
founders of several community agencies in the East Bay, has devoted
most of her career to improving mental health services for Asian
Americans. Now retired, she is a volunteer psychological
consultant for an adult day healthcare program. Working with
Audrey Yamamoto, President and CEO of the Asian Pacific Fund,
Loretta Huahn is a strong supporter of numerous community
organizations, including Asian Women's Shelter. Staff and clients
both benefitted enormously from her generous support this year.
Cora Tellez, after a long career with Healthnet, Blue Shield,
Kaiser, and other organizations, founded Sterling Health Services
Administration and serves as the current CEO. Upon her
retirement from the Board of Directors of the S.H.
Cowell Foundation, she generously chose AWS to receive
a donor-advised grant. She was wonderfully represented at the
AWS Gala by her son, Alex Tellez, and her daughter-in-law, Denise
June Woo Wong
June Woo Wong is one of the most active members of the AWS
family. Among her many accomplishments, June is a tireless
supporter of AWS-as a former board member, donor, and organizer of
vibrant annual dances benefiting AWS. We are so grateful to
her for all of her efforts. This year she surpassed even her
own successes by generating matching fund opportunities to benefit
The raffle kept us on the edge of our seats! Here are the
winners, with some additional surprises about their winnings:
Grand Prize of a Tesla Weekend: Leslie
$1,000 Gift Certificate from Saks Fifth Avenue:
The winner wishes to remain anonymous, but here is a surprise view
into what happened after they were informed of their good
luck: They decided to donate their certificate directly to
survivors who have found safety at AWS. We thank them for buying
tickets to support AWS's work and for their generosity in passing
their good luck to others.
Meet and Greet with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee:
Beatrice Griffiths. Beatrice also decided to give the opportunity
of taking 7 friends to meet Mayor Lee for a personal tour of San
Francisco's City Hall to others. Look out for updates on the
organizing of this event in the near future!
iPad Mini: Christine Noma
Gift Certificate for Brunch at the Cliff House: Dipti
Tickets to the San Francisco Playhouse: Mary
Anderson & Jean Crosby
Magnum of Wine: Cherry Crosby
Gift Certificate from Chotto Restaurant: Annie
Bare Minerals Indulge Yourself Kit-Natalie
Local Boutique Chocolates: Goranka Poljak-Hoy and Rose
Thank you to all who bought raffle tickets to support AWS!
As the event closed…
…we were reminded that we never know when we touch survivors and
open doors to healing. As we gathered our supplies from the
dining room, a woman approached us to say, "You had a really lovely
event. I wasn't a guest, but I heard your speaker, and I got
very emotional. I was in that situation before."