SAN DIEGO -- More than 600 people are expected to attend The San Diego LGBT Community Center's 38th annual gala Saturday evening, considered by many to be the community's premier philanthropic social event.
The event, which is the signature fundraising event for The Center's programs and services, is typically considered a "must attend" gathering for many of San Diego's civic leaders, elected officials, business leaders, philanthropists, and other "movers and shakers."
Along with a brief program spotlighting The Center's work over the last year, the evening will include a cocktail hour, silent auction, gourmet dinner and dancing at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.
Money raised from the gala supports the more than 40 programs and services provided to the community by The Center, including a host of health and human services that serve youth, seniors, families, Latinos and people living with HIV/AIDS.
The occasion also celebrates The Center's anniversary, spotlighting the organization's nearly four decades of service to the San Diego LGBT community.
The Center was incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization in 1973, just two years after community pioneer Jess Jessop set up an answering machine hotline in his apartment to provide support to LGBT individuals who had questions or needed help.
Since that time, The Center has grown into one of the larger organizations of its type in the nation and has branched out to provide a wide range of services, providing support to over 46,000 people per year.
California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) has joined a long list of community organizations, corporations, and individuals who have purchased a table to the event.
Matthew Ceppi, who is chief of staff to the president of CSUSM, said he is pleased that the school is supporting the LGBT community and The Center in this way.
"The anniversary gala is a good opportunity to celebrate community and support the important work of the Center," Ceppi said. "I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in their glitz and glamour!"
Full tables to Saturday's gala are sold out. For information about purchasing individual tickets, which cost $200, call (619) 692-2077.
The Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel is located at 1 Park Blvd. in Downtown.
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Former board chairs of The Center discuss the organization's work in a video that was shown at last year's gala
Left photo credit: The San Diego LGBT Community Center