Villa Esperanza Guild’s Day At The Races Shows Love For Villa

Published on Mar 4, 2024

The Villa Esperanza Guild held their 36th Annual Day at the Races, benefitting Villa Esperanza Services, on Saturday, February 24.  The sold-out, “Sweethearts Racing” themed event brought over 200 people together in the Chandelier Room at Santa Anita Park for a spectacular day, raising over $92,000 for Villa.   The Day at the Races supports Villa’s Hjelte-Phillips Speech and Language Center and Residential and Independent Living Services programs, which serve children, adults, and seniors with intellectual/developmental differences.

The event was full of love, camaraderie, and joy, and guests enjoyed lunch, a silent auction, and raffle and prize drawings in addition to a fantastic day of racing.  The mood was set with heart centerpieces featuring photos of Villa’s participants and sparkly hearts in vases made by Villa’s participants. Everyone in the room felt the love for Villa and helped make it the most successful Race Day ever!

Chairing this year’s event were Irene Albeck and Judie Christopoulos.  The Benefit Committee includes Guild President Joan Feser and Connie Ching.  The Villa Esperanza Guild was formed in 1968 to increase awareness of the needs of individuals with special needs.

Villa Esperanza Services, established in 1961, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing love, care, and hope for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families. They create a transformative environment to empower neurodivergent children, adults, and seniors to reach their fullest potential and lead fulfilling lives.  

For children, Villa’s services include Villa School, Hjelte-Phillips Speech and Language Center, Occupational Therapy Clinic, and Behavioral Therapy. For adults, they provide “Person-Centered” services, including Adult Day Programs, Community Integration Program, Employment Services, and Residential Program, which includes group homes and Independent Living Skills Program.

To learn more about Villa, visit

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