Flying For A Cure | An Inspiring and Successful Fundraising Gala

January 26, 2013

Photo by Monica Hoover
Last Saturday evening, hundreds of generous San Diegans gathered at the picturesque Hyatt Regency La Jolla Aventine to raise funds for ALS research (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) at an event tokened Flying For A Cure.  The evening's playful flight theme took a cue from honoree John Constans' 30+-year career as a Navy, PSA and US Airways pilot and honored his love for life by embracing a more casual and fun-loving approach to the festivities. The evening led off with the chill vibes of the Paul Cannon Band and featured an exclusive performance by internationally acclaimed musician and San Diego-native, Tristan Prettyman.

The evening began with a classy cocktail and appetizer happy hour featuring delicious bites including poached prawns from Sbicca; a playful take on a Wellington with short rib from Pacifica del Mar; and a delectable meatball covered in riccotta, pesto and Romano cheese from Crush (samples pictured below).  Guests casually roamed the cocktail hour, perusing the silent and live auction items, including an epic collection of signed guitars including that of Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and many others.  Guests then paraded to the main ballroom, beautifully decorated with white hydrangeas, lillies, tea lights and vibrant lighting.  We indulged in an array of savory and sweet food stations: a gourmet mac and cheese bar with four varieties, mahi mahi and chicken tacos, crab cake, beef and pulled pork sliders, french and sweet potato fries, a fresh soup and salad station and a Haagen-Dazs ice cream sundae bar with fresh berries, cookies, sprinkles, candies, caramel and hot fudge.  All in attendance seemed to thoroughly enjoy the playful and comforting food items and the freedom to go back for seconds, and even thirds, all while enjoying copious amounts of wine and beer. 

Emcee Madison Miller took the stage to host the live auction and paddles flew through the air claiming extravagant items.  A net total of $90,000.00 was raised to benefit ALS research through Team Godfather Charitable Foundation, a local non-profit devoted to ending this devastating disease by raising funds for unparalleled medical research. Moving speeches were made by honoree John Constans' wife and daughters, and moving words of inspiration were shared by John himself.

Then Tristan took stage as enlivened guests packed the dance floor through her final song and beyond when DJ Brian Matthews took to the floor. Throughout her hour-long set Tristan sang highlights from her newly released third album, Cedar + Gold, but a personal favorite was her cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love."  The spectacular event production team at Redfearn & Associates produced both an inspiring and high-energy fundraiser.

A heartwarming display of familial love, resilience, and courage, the Flying For A Cure Fundraiser for ALS research was a lovely and emotional event.