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Foothill Family Annual Gala on March 7 Aims to Be the “A Royal Affair”

Published on Jan 27, 2020

Hear ye, hear ye all noble courtiers, the lords and ladies of Foothill Family hereby proclaim the 7th day of March of the year 2020 as the official date for Foothill Family’s annual gala, A Royal Affair. This grand event will take place at the regal and exclusive California Club in Downtown Los Angeles. As a guest of this Royal Affair, trumpets and fanfare will welcome your arrival as you dine with fellow queens, kings, dukes, duchesses, and Foothill Family royal supporters for an unforgettable evening of royal elegance.

Foothill Family’s annual gala is the largest fundraiser held by the organization each year to raise unrestricted funds in support of mental health services and early childhood development programs. Through client care, outreach, and community education opportunities, Foothill Family reaches more than 23,000 children and families each year to support those who battle mental illness; have suffered from abuse, trauma, and violence; or are challenged with behavioral health or developmental concerns. All proceeds from the event benefit Foothill Family’s life-changing programs.

“The annual benefit is our single largest fundraiser each year and we are thrilled to have Dr. Annette Ermshar and Sandra Plowman at the helm as our event co-chairs,” said Steve Allen, Foothill Family Chief Executive Officer. “We are exceedingly grateful for their leadership and for the hard work and remarkable commitment of the Friends of Foothill Family, who know how to throw a phenomenal party without losing sight of the bigger picture.”

Dr. Annette Ermshar is a prominent Pasadena-based clinical psychologist who has a thriving private practice focusing on psychological assessment and treatment, neuropsychology, and forensic psychology. She is an expert consultant for television and media and has dedicated her professional life to mental health and helping others get back on their feet and achieve their personal best. Dr. Ermshar has been listed for many years as a top doctor by Pasadena magazine, was recently named in the Top 50 Women by Top 100 Magazine, appears in national press releases, including NBC, and has been recognized by many organizations for her expertise and leadership in her field. She is active on many local nonprofit boards and is passionate about generosity, service, and giving back.

Sandra Plowman, an administrator at Outlook Newspapers, credits her passion for volunteering and philanthropy to her Christian faith, her family’s example, and the influence from friendships who are active in giving and serving in the many charitable organizations in the San Gabriel Valley. Her work at Outlook Newspapers has brought an even greater exposure to philanthropy in greater Pasadena and a renewed sense of responsibility to give back her community.

“Each year, the Friends of Foothill Family pour their time, talent, and treasure into the planning and execution of this meaningful benefit on behalf of Foothill Family,” said Ermshar and Plowman. “We feel fortunate to fundraise for and support a mission-driven organization like Foothill Family, whose programs and services benefit families right here in our communities.” Working alongside the benefit co-chairs to create a memorable event are auction co-chairs Lora Unger and Beatrice Usher, as well as Friends of Foothill Family President Chelby Crawford and Vice President Christine Villalpando-Escobar.

This year, the gala will honor the 20th Anniversary of the Friends of Foothill Family, with special tributes to the past presidents who have shaped the philanthropic guild and its role in the community’s awareness and support of Foothill Family.

The gala is a black tie event, though royal attire from period to present is admired in homage to the evening’s theme. Those who have fantasies of making a royal entrance should consider becoming a patron – patrons at certain levels will receive regalia and be announced upon entrance to dinner.

Festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. with signature cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction featuring mobile bidding. With the touch of a finger on a smart phone or tablet, invitees can bid on any number of unique items, ranging from luxurious home goods to priceless sports memorabilia, from fun for the whole family to special date nights. Bidders will have access to the mobile site for silent auction items several days prior to the event and do not have to attend to win. Live auction items, winnable only by those in attendance, will range from singular experiences to exotic vacation packages. Last year’s marquee item was an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Hearst Castle, including the one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim in the world-famous Neptune Pool.

Founded in 1926, Foothill Family empowers children and families to achieve success in relationships, school, and work through community-based services that advance growth and development. Through its leadership in supporting at-risk populations in Southern California, the agency has earned a reputation for providing high-quality services aimed at achieving brighter futures in which individuals and families thrive, communities are strengthened, and generations are enriched. Programs include mental health and school-based services for children, a focus on early childhood development and parent education, youth and family services ranging from programs for pregnant and parenting teens to prevention and treatment for child abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse. For more information, please call (626) 993-3000 or visit

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