3 Local Organizations Shared the Love This February by Raising Funds for Vulnerable Youth, Seniors and Equitable Health

Although most of us couldn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day with our loved ones, the Bay Area’s charity organizations weren’t short on love, hosting virtual events to help those in most in need.

Marin Valentine’s Ball Brings Love to North Bay’s Vulnerable Youth

Marin Valentine's Ball

Annual Event Brings in Much-Needed Funds for Three Youth Organizations

The 2021 Marin Valentine’s Ball virtually welcomed more than 110 households to its live virtual event on Saturday, February 6 for an evening of community and celebration that raised nearly $200,000 for Marin County’s most vulnerable youth. The evening’s program included honoring community leader Bruce Raabe with the Hal Brown Memorial Philanthropy Award, as well as cameo appearances by notable celebrities including former Governor Jerry Brown, Paula Abdul, Chris Harrison and a musical performance by internationally-recognized jazz saxophonist Kenny G. The event benefitted the Godmothers of St. Vincent’s School for Boys (affiliated with Catholic Charities), North Bay Children’s Center and Side by Side.

“While Marin County is widely recognized as an area of great privilege, my dad, former Supervisor Hal Brown, understood that many of our neighbors and especially children, did not enjoy many of those privileges and created this event to address that need,” said Mike Brown, board chair of the Marin Valentine’s Ball Foundation.

“The Marin Valentine’s Ball raises critically-needed funds for three vibrant local nonprofits that provide a comprehensive safety net supporting, advocating, defending and caring for vulnerable young people.”

Institute on Aging’s Heart of the Bay Doubles Funds Raised to Support Bay Area’s Vulnerable Seniors

Institute on Aging's Heart of the Bay

More than $300,000 raised from the virtual event will support the non-profit’s critical programs, including the Friendship Line, senior meal delivery and care programs.

Founded in 1975, Institute on Aging is one of California’s largest community-based nonprofit organizations providing a spectrum of services for seniors and adults living with disabilities and touching more than 20,000 lives annually. Its annual fundraising event, held virtually this year and renamed Heart of the Bay, was attended by more than 300 individuals from across the Bay Area on February 11. This year’s event, emceed by TV and radio personality Liam Mayclem, raised double the amount from previous annual events. Jonathan Bernstein, the organization’s vice president of philanthropy, indicated that the uptick in donations was likely tied to people’s desire to help those deeply impacted by the past year.

“At a time when we’re all feeling powerless, Heart of the Bay empowered people with an opportunity to help some of the most vulnerable victims of this pandemic: disadvantaged seniors, many with prior health conditions,” said Bernstein. Ticket holders received a fully catered, delicious three-course dinner from Carrie Dove Catering personally delivered to their homes.

Inside each catered package was a blank greeting card, on which event-goers could write a caring, supportive message, to be forwarded on to a senior involved in one of Institute on Aging’s programs. Attendees were also treated to a musical performance by Ensemble SF, which regularly provides Institute on Aging’s clients with the special gift of music. 2021 marks the 38th year of the annual fundraiser that provides widespread community support for senior services that help the Bay Area’s most vulnerable to remain healthy, live longer and feel connected.

It supports Institute on Aging’s myriad services, which include its Friendship Line, dementia care, community living, and meal delivery programs. Many of these programs serve adults with limited mobility and financial means, as well as those who have been isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

San Francisco General Hospital Foundation Raises 1.6 Million at Hearts in SF Event

sf general hospital

Supporting accessible and equitable health initiatives and programs at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

On February 11, San Francisco General Hospital Foundation raised more than $1.6 million at its annual Hearts in SF virtual event and spotlighted three health equity programs at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG). The centerpiece of the evening was a conversation between Dr. Robert Rodriguez, an emergency department physician at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and hospital CEO Susan Ehrlich. Dr. Rodriguez, who is also a member of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, went in-depth into the Covid-19 pandemic and the integral part that ZSFG has played in caring for the city’s coronavirus cases.

Other highlights of the evening included appearances by California Governor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Tony Bennett, Santana, Bob Weir, and a special performance by the Kim Nalley Band. The event committee was led by Chair Janis MacKenzie, Reunion Chair Judy Guggenhime and Honorary Chair Pam Baer. Select heart sculptures from the iconic and ongoing “Hearts in San Francisco” public art project, the sales of which benefit the hospital and its programs, are on display in San Francisco’s Union Square through October 2021.

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Donna Berry GlassDonna Berry Glass is a freelance writer in Marin County who writes mostly about family and kid-oriented topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family exploring the natural beauty of Marin, snuggling with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel while reading a good book or whipping up something delicious in her space-challenged kitchen. Donna is a supporter of the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to seniors and disabled individuals.