We are over the moon with the success of Imagine Ball!
We were deeply honored to present Serena Williams with the Imagine LA Empowering Families Award at the Peppermint Club on Sunday, September 23.
Jalila, an Imagine LA program graduate and ambassador, shared her moving personal story with all our guests before presenting Serena with the award. Serena graciously accepted on behalf of her sister, Yetunde Price, and her sister’s namesake charity, the Yetunde Price Resource Center (YPRC), an Imagine LA partner in South LA. She joked that the award was "the first trophy she's won all year" then gave a heartfelt speech thanking Imagine LA.
We always have surprise guests at Imagine Ball but this year was better than we could have imagined!
Dave Chappelle joined auctioneer Melissa Nielsen of Charity Angels and brought along his pal Chris Rock to auction off one-of-a-kind items and experiences. Both comedians were not just hilarious but super generous, each donating $20,000 to Imagine LA on the spot. Serena and her husband Alexis Ohanian matched their contribution with an equally generous donation! The beautiful Michelle Williams sang a few songs and Busta Rhymes came out for a surprise performance and ended with a tear-jerking, heartfelt speech to Serena. We were delighted to have Good Day LA's Rita Garcia as emcee.
Celebrities Kelly Rowland, Colton Haynes, Wiz Khalifa, Nicole Scherzinger, James Tupper and Chantelle Jeffries all joined to support Imagine LA honoring Serena. The energy in the room was palpable as shown in this video.
Imagine Ball raised a whopping $394,000, making it our most successful fundraiser ever! With these funds, we will continue to grow and work the Imagine LA magic, helping vulnerable families as they get on a pathway out of poverty and homelessness alongside their mentor teams.
A huge shout out goes to our event producers, Val Vogt and John Terzian! Thanks a million to our guest and to our sponsors: George R. Phillips, Jr. (our newest Board member) and Phillips Law Partners; Alex Nicolaou and Capital Group; Dana and Paul Kiesel and Kiesel Law; Barbara Bouza and Gensler; The John and Marilyn Wells Family Foundation; Oath:For Good; Steve Mikhov and Knight Law Group; Tom Gordon and DSL Construction; Bianca and Tom Dwan; Donald Park; and Caryn Alpert.
Thanks also to The Giving Keys; Beyond Meat; Jeff Leatham; Waterford; XIV Karats;Malibu Wine Safari; the Lakers; the Rams; Drake; and our beverage sponsorsAbsolut Vodka, Virginia Black and Whispering Angel. A very special thank you toRiley Buss-Drexel and the Buss family for donating the amazing Lakers ticket packages -- we are so grateful!
We couldn't have done it without our Event Co-Chairs Alex Nicolaou, Barbara Bouza,David Goodenough, Dana Kiesel, George R. Phillips Jr., Kenny Hamilton, Randall Kaplan and Teddy Kapur. Thank you!
Please be sure to check out the lovely feature on Serena in People magazine this week, which mentions Imagine Ball. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more event photos and all our latest news.
Thanks so much for your support!