Five Acres Celebrates Foster Care Superheroes at its 2019 Desert Oasis Gala

Five Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFive Acres\' Desert Oasis Gala Raises Funds for Foster ChildrenFrom left to right: Garrett Collins, gala co-chair Matt McIntyre, actor Matt Lillard, Five Acres\' CEO Chanel Boutakidis, Heather Lillard, Ioakim Boutakidis and film and television producer Matt Nix at Five Acres\' 2019 Desert Oasis Gala. - Photo courtesy Melissa Kobe / Five AcresGala co-chairs Matt McIntyre and Kirsten Hansen with actress Sarah Drew (center) who served as the gala\'s emcee. - Photo courtesy Melissa Kobe / Five Acres

STAFF REPORT

1:20 pm | June 17, 2019


On the heels of National Foster Care month, Five Acres hosted its 2019 Annual Gala “Desert Oasis” on June 1, 2019 to celebrate the “superheroes” it serves: children in need of permanent, loving families. Drawing hundreds of guests, the Palm Springs-themed event was held in Pasadena, California at the home of Jennifer and Shawn McCreight and emceed by actress and director Sarah Drew (“Grey’s Anatomy”).

Nick Di Nieri was at the helm as auctioneer, helping Five Acres’ exceed its fundraising goal for the night with a matching gift and significant surprise donation after the final call. Di Nieri, a foster-adoptive father himself, remarked on the importance of the gala, noting that “even if you can’t become a foster parent, everyone can do something to break the cycle of abuse and neglect for kids in need.”

Actor/director Matthew Lillard (“Good Girls,” “Scooby Doo”) and writer/producer/director Matt Nix (“Burn Notice,” “The Gifted”) also introduced a special video the two produced for Five Acres. The video interviewed several now-adopted former foster children served by Five Acres about their ideal superpowers and brought them to life. Each gala guest received collectible superhero cards with every child’s special story included.

The Desert Oasis was made possible in part by multiple underwriters and sponsors, including an anonymous Palm Springs sponsor; Rusnak Auto Group and Wells Fargo as Paradise Sponsors, LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Comerica Banks as Tech Sponsors; and Pasadena Now and Outlook Newspapers digital and print media sponsors, respectively.

Five Acres’ special “Superheroes” video is currently available at www.YouTube.com/FiveAcresChannel. To learn more about their work supporting foster care, adoption and mental health for vulnerable kids and families in Southern California, please visit 5acres.org.

About Five Acres

Five Acres is a child and family service agency ensuring every child has a safe, healthy and permanent family solution through advocacy, prevention and evidence-based services. Established as an orphanage in 1888, today Five Acres offers programs spanning a full continuum of care including community-based counseling and support services, intensive residential care and foster care and adoption services. Currently, Five Acres serves more than 9,700 children and their families across five counties. Visit 5acres.org for more information.