News | Youth Moving On


Hillsides Gala Sponsors Treated to an Evening of Food, Friends, and Art


(Los Angeles, CA)  Some 75 supporters of the Pasadena-headquartered charity Hillsides gathered together at a sponsor recognition reception on January 28 at Bistro 45 in Pasadena.  The event was organized to thank the many individuals and organizations that are sponsoring the charity’s annual gala, which will be held on February 22, 2014 at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena.  Reflecting the gala theme of this year, which is “A Celebration of Art,” during the evening guests received a sneak peek of more than 10 stunning pieces of art that will be auctioned off at the gala.

 “So many wonderful people and companies have come together to support Hillsides in its major fundraiser of the year, and this was our way of letting them know how much we appreciate them,”  said the non-profit’s Chief Executive Officer Joseph M. Costa.  “We also wanted to give them the first look at the art work that guests will have a chance to bid on at the gala.”

The art displayed during the reception represents some of the finest local artists.  Noted abstract artist JD Shultz, whose paintings hang in the homes of celebrities such as Larry King and Ryan Seacrest, generously donated an eye-catching 42” by 66” acrylic painting on framed Plexiglas, “It’s Raining Love.”  Southern California artist Nate Sonnenberg’s patterned abstract, “S.R.R. Medium Green,” was also on display during the evening.  

Other artists whose work was on view included Plein Air painter Laurie Hendricks, colorful muralist and illustrator Valerie Trimarchi, modern impressionist Kay Henry, South Pasadena artist Leslie Saeta, and cinematographer and visual effects production company chief executive officer Sam Nicholson, whose bold painting over a photograph of the Colorado Bridge caught many guests’ attention.   Artist Daniel Aksten, best known for his fastidious paintings of geometric designs, attended the event and donated one of his pieces to the gala titled “Vessel (Violet Palimpsest Variation).  

During the evening Hillsides’ gala chair, podcast host and social media personality Susan Pinsky, thanked the Hillsides gala committee of some 20 people for their hard work in planning the upcoming gala.  Her husband, TV and radio celebrity Dr. Drew Pinsky, also spoke, remarking that Hillsides is “second to none”  when it comes to transforming the lives of children and their families in need through various services and programs.  Agency CEO Costa also spoke briefly, thanking the sponsors for their crucial support of the agency, particular Robert and Deborah Simon, who hosted the reception.

Hillsides 2014 gala will feature fine dining, dancing, and a silent and live auction.   During the live auction, emceed by NBC4 weatherman Fritz Coleman, guests will get a chance to not only bid on art but on items ranging from a romantic Danube eight-day cruise with Viking River Cruises to an intimate dinner for 10 at the home of master chef  Joachim Splichal to diamond and South Sea pearl earrings by Barbara Poer Designs.

The theme of the evening, “A Celebration of Art,” reflects Hillsides’ commitment to using the visual arts and music as part of the healing process of children and families who have experienced trauma.   It also acknowledges that the charity is at heart an artist as it attempts to create whole lives for children who have had disjointed and painful childhoods. 

Tickets to “A Celebration of Art” are $300 per person, and sponsorships are also still available.  To attend or for more information on the gala, please contact Hillsides Director of Development, Carrie Espinoza, at 323-543-2800, ext. 121 or

Headquartered in Pasadena, Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and their families living in Los Angeles. The annual gala raises funds needed to create lasting change in the lives of children in crisis.  For more information on Hillsides, please visit


CONTACT: Marisol Barrios
Office: (323) 543-2800 ext. 128
Cell 310 713-8567


Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and their families. >
We offer community-based programs and services providing parenting classes, mental health support, and crucial resources for vulnerable children and families throughout Los Angeles County. >
Education Center, a therapeutic residential and day school, offers individualized education for students with social-emotional, learning and/or behavior challenges for children in kindergarten. >

Campus Map

Hillsides Youth Moving On
456 East Orange Grove Blvd., Suite 140, Pasadena, CA 91104     (626) 765-6010