The Best Annual Galas in Marin

Even the most vibrant of counties are not without need for charitable organizations, and what better way to fund admirable foundations than with a fancy party? The 2023 readers’ choice Best of the County winner is Lifehouse Agency: Great Chefs & Wineries (pictured above). For the rest of the Marin Magazine‘s Best of Marin County Annual Gala picks see below.

Our 2023 Philanthropy category sponsor is Chambers + Chambers.

We’ve broken it down by region: Central and Northern Marin.

Central | Northern

Central Marin

Side by Side: Reach for the Stars Gala

San Anselmo

Founded in 1895 in Marin County as an orphanage, Side By Side operates across the Bay Area as a support network for youth that have been impacted by trauma and adversity. All their services are tailored for what each young person needs, from mental health assistance to transitional housing. Their Reach for the Stars Gala has entertainment, dining, and music and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for in-need youth.

300 Sunny Hills Drive, Bldg. #5 San Anselmo, 415.457.3200

Marin General Hospital Foundation Gala


Their annual black tie gala benefits a different one of MarinHealth’s programs every year. In 2023, the “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” gala’s proceeds went to expanding cardiovascular care and the various methods that are used to treat heart conditions at Marin General.

1350 S Eliseo Dr #110, Greenbrae, 415.925.7770

Lifehouse Agency: Great Chefs & Wineries

San Rafael

Lifehouse’s mission statement is to help those with developmental disabilities by providing, amongst other services, much needed compassionate support. This week-long Great Chefs and Wineries event is, as promised, all about the best of food and wine that can be found in the county, and a virtual auction is held all week to raise money and awareness for the important work Lifehouse does.

18 Professional Center Parkway, San Rafael, 415.526.5300

St. Vincent de Paul Society: Pennies From Heaven

San Rafael

St. Vincent de Paul has a mission to provide compassionate, individualized assistance to help their most vulnerable neighbors obtain nutritious food, affordable housing, meaningful employment, and a voice in the community. Their crisis assistance programs have grown to support over 8,000 people annually, including housing Marin’s chronically homeless and supporting those who are precariously housed.

820 B Street, San Rafael, 415.454.3303

Northern Marin

Narada Michael Walden Foundation: The Spring Fling


The Narada Michael Walden Foundation has a dream; to enable young people to find creativity and passion through music, to provide a joyous outlet for the stress that youth today often experience. Young artists can find the start they need through the Foundation, accessing coaching and support that they would otherwise need to pay for. The Spring Fling event features young artists who learn and then perform songs at their own mini-concert.

530C Alameda del Prado, #323, Novato


Chambers + Chambers Architects: 2023 Best of the County Philanthropy

Focused primarily on custom residential and interior design services, Chambers + Chambers is a boutique architectural practice in Mill Valley. Understated elegance, richness in color and texture and classical detailing are signature elements of Barbara Chamber’s award-winning designs.

What got you interested in philanthropy?
Giving is an expression of spiritual gratitude that makes the world a better place for everyone. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for children and so I’m compelled to give to those organizations.
Do you have a favorite charity?
Tribe Rising India is working to lift the Santal tribe out of abject poverty through education. By building the first-ever high school dedicated to Santals, they are overcoming caste prejudice and creating generational change. 
Why is it important for someone to give?
I believe our gifts are meant to be shared. When we do, we change individual lives and also impact our world.