Nearly 400 generous members of SITE's Southern California chapter (SITE-SoCal) partied with a purpose last week, raising more than $102,000 for three local charities at the group's seventh annual holiday luncheon and charity auction.
The two-day event, held at The Island Hotel (formerly The Four Seasons) in Newport Beach, Calif., sold out online in 37 minutes. Money-makers included a golf tournament, raffle, and silent and live auctions. Packages including trips to Thailand, Copenhagen, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Monaco, Britain, Tahiti and Sydney were donated by generous travel industry donors. A special prize to New Orleans to assist colleagues in the incentive industry who were affected by Hurricane Katrina was auctioned for $2,500, which SITE-SoCal will match, along with an additional $5,700 from individual donors.
The three charities benefiting from the funds are devoted to helping abused and at-risk youth. At the luncheon on Dec. 15, representatives from the charities told heart-wrenching stories about their particular cases and shared how the funds from last year’s event have been used to help change children’s lives.
SITE president Bill Boyd and CEO Brenda Anderson were on hand to congratulate the SoCal Chapter on being named "Chapter of the Year," a competition that "wasn't even close," Boyd said. Outgoing chapter president Alison McNiece of Genesis Incentives of Tustin, Calif., saluted incoming president Madelyn Marusa of PRA Destination Management, Carlsbad, Calif.