Partner’s Dinner 2009

4rd Annual “Partner’s” Awards Dinner

October 3, 2009

A beautiful night, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, in Simi Valley was the setting for this year’s Partner’s Awards Dinner, on Saturday, October 3. Guests numbered 260, many arriving with approximately 30 puppies-in-training and guide dogs. The guests enjoyed touring the Presidential Museum and honoring this year’s recipients: Nancy & Brian Matthews, South Bay’s Puppy Raisers’ Area Leaders and the ladies of the National Charity League (San Fernando Valley Chapter).

Steve Burkman, one of GDA’s Licensed Instructors, had a great time, with one of our guide dogs-in-training, conducting 2 demos. Lively auctions and awards presentations culminating with dancing to the sounds of Dance Fantasy made for another fun and very successful event. Proceeds from the dinner netted over $114,000.00 directly benefiting the renovation of the canine health center to a state-of-the-art medical facility for our puppies and dogs in the program.

Our raffle ticket contest winner was “Sammie” raised by Sandy Steinblums…”Sammie” sold 260 tickets which earned her “person” a complimentary ticket to the dinner. Congratulations to “Sammie” and Sandy for doing such a great job of selling those raffle tickets. Three lucky winners walked away with a total of $3,500.00 in cash!

A very special thank you to our wonderful sponsors without whom this event would not have been the success that it was: Top Dog “Dinner” Sponsors were Suzanne & Michael Tennenbaum, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC; “Play Date” Sponsors – Mrs. Macki Singer and Mr. & Mrs. Steve Gettleman; “Dog Tricks” Sponsor – Animal Specialty Group, Inc., “Kibble” Sponsors – Casey Scott and Jennifer Scott, Scott Wealth Management of Wells Fargo Advisors; “Dog Bowl” Sponsors – Mrs. Eleanor Hughes,
Mr. & Mrs. Steve Williams, Mr. & Mrs. Adam Lawrence; “Printing” Sponsor – The Esseff Foundation.

Mike Carland, GDA staffer was wonderful in getting the Power Point presentation to work for the evening and especially the auctions, capped off with the highlight video segment of our guide-dog-in-training modeling the Ruffwear “booties.” Our live and “Fund-A-Need” auctions brought in over $36,000.00. Rounding out the thank you’s… Tammy (and husband Mark) New for her beautiful floral centerpieces and table decor, Joe Scavo, photographer, Tami Semler, wine from Malibu Family Wines, GDA staff, Judy Reilly, Command Performance Catering, our DJ – Mike Lavalle and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

Lastly, a very special thank you from Debbie Sands, Dinner Chair, to all of you who attended and supported our annual dinner. We are truly appreciative of all our friends who are there to support us and show us time and again, just how much we do make a difference in a life of someone who is visually impaired.







-Photos by Joe Scavo-

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