Voices for Five Acres Gala: A Grand Evening in Pasadena

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NEWS STAFF

9:55 am | May 20, 2014


On a beautiful, sunny evening, more than 250 delighted guests gathered for Voices for Five Acres gala on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Trinity Ballroom in Pasadena. The glamorous event honored Michelle LeClair and Tena Clark for their joint dedication to meeting the needs of children and families in crisis.

“The love and support of a child creates ripples that last generations.  It is our responsibility to not look away when a child is in need,” said LeClair.  ”We can change the future of this world for the better by helping children.”

Animated and lively event emcees were actor Matthew Lillard, of “The Bridge” on FX, and Wendy Burch, Emmy award-winning reporter and anchor, KTLA.  The popular annual gala featured a silent and live auction, signature cocktails, musical entertainment and dancing into the late hours of the evening. Gala chair, Sue McGuirl, of Altadena, lead the committee to raising nearly $185,000 to support vital programs and services for children at Five Acres.

“For 126 years, Five Acres’ mission and passion as a community organization has impacted the lives of hundreds and thousands of children,” said Burch. “Something we should be proud of yet something that we need to continue to fight for because our work is not done and there are still children who need us.”

Lillard spoke of his family’s personal involvement with Five Acres for the last twenty five years. “My father-in-law Hugh Helm was involved with Five Acres back they were celebrating their 100th anniversary. And now, my lovely wife Heather and I got involved because Five Acres finds innovative and effective ways to change the lives of children,” said Lillard.

VIP guests included writer, producer and director Matt Nix; Keri and Andrew Crowell, President, Crowell, Weedon & Co.; Ann and Mike Matthiessen, 2016 President, Tournament of Roses; Chantal and Steve Bennett, President, OES, Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co.; David DiCristofaro, President, Greater Los Angeles Region, Wells Fargo; Congresswoman Judy Chu; Christine and Byron Miller, jazz musician, among others.

With a blended family, Michelle LeClair and Tena Clark are most proud of their role as devoted parents.

“We believe that every child makes this world a better place,” said LeClair. “Family is who loves you.”

Michelle LeClair specializes in bringing together the world’s largest insurance carriers with the entertainment industry and small businesses. A frequent speaker on such vital issues as human rights education and the protection of children, LeClair has addressed the United Nations, state congresses, UCLA and more.

Tena Clark, CEO/Chief Creative Officer founder of, DMI Music & Media Solutions,
has written and/or produced iconic recording artists including Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Jennifer Holliday and Gladys Knight, among others. DMI is at the forefront of marketing for brands that include Cisco, Delta Airlines and General Mills.

Five Acres is a leading charitable organization providing innovative solutions that ensure safety, well-being and provide permanent homes for children and their families. Services include residential care and education; a non-public WASC accredited school, mental health services in homes and schools, foster care, adoptions and domestic violence prevention programs.

The agency’s successful programs have a measurable impact on nearly 7,000 combined children and members of their families served each year. Since 1888, Five Acres has touched the lives of more than 100,000 children and families.  For more information on Five Acres, please visit www.fiveacres.org.