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Kids Korps USA 'Viva España!' Gala

April 1st, 2006
The Social Diary Columnist & Photographer Margo Schwab

(page 1 of 2)

Kids Korps USA was created by Joani Wafer and Dawn Lehman in 1995 with the mission of "Building Leaders for Life Through Youth Volunteerism." And since that year, Kids Korps has grown steadily and big. Really big. They can now boast a cumulative tally of 17,000 Kids Korps youth and family volunteers, with an hours contribution level of over 557,000 service hours to their respective communities. Volunteers have stuffed 26,000 care bags for youth entering transitional homes, built 55 homes and 625 bikes, helping over 220,000 youth and adults in need.

To help raise needed funds, a gala themed 'Viva España' was held at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines on March 18th, 2006. The big draw for the evening aside from fundraising, were the Honorary Guests, Larry King and Ryan Seacrest.

Unless you've been cut off from the world, you know very well who these two are. Larry King is 49 years strong as the top interviewer for CNN. King's show Larry King Live, has spanned an incredible 40,000 plus interviews of world leaders and news worthy individuals. Not afraid to ask the hard question, Larry is a very good listener too. And Larry listened when asked by Kids Korps to host their annual gala evening.

Last year Larry was joined by entertainer Wayne Newton. This year, Ryan Seacrest was called. Ryan readily accepted, which is quite something when you get a taste of Seacrest's schedule. He's host of E! Online, American Idol, On Air With Ryan Seacrest and American Top 40. He also has invested in restaurants, has his own production company called Ryan Seacrest Productions (RSP), and is launching his own R Line clothing this Summer.

In response to Ryan Seacreast being labeled by The Social Diary Interview as 'a young Merv Griffin' of business and entertainment, Larry King readily agreed. Ryan Seacrest demurred that he respected what Merv Griffin and Dick Clark had accomplished in business over the years.

And fyi, Ryan does produce his own New Year's Eve: Live From Times Square With Ryan Seacrest show now too, as well as hosting so many other shows including this year's An Evening at the Academy Awards.

But this particular and spectacular evening was about something even bigger than these 2 stars. It was about kids, ages 5-17 being taught the value of volunteering, and seeing their efforts come through in the form of productive community results.

Raising funds for this goal started with a VIP cocktail party, and a meet and greet with Larry King and Ryan Seacrest. Scene stealers were many, but among them were statuesque beauty Tiffany Mahoney, in a vibrant acqua blue silk dress. Tiffany was joined by her other 2 beautiful Gala Co-Chairs, Marian Benassi and Stephanie Kourie. They along with Event Chairs Connie and Bill McNally did a tremendous job putting together this event.

And the night was just getting started.

More joined the party for the auction preview. Suzanne and Scott Appleby were there, and so were Cathy and Nick Conners. Jenny and Sid Craig were having a great time shopping the auction items, as were Kim Pavel and her husband Chip Harrison. Kim is on the National Board for Kids Korps. Her favorite thing about this group, is watching children learn to volunteer and learn the value of helping others.

And the adults helped this mission by raising over $550,000 that night. Some key auction prizes bid on during dinner added greatly to the tally. A Taylor T5 Custom Electric Guitar autographed by The Rolling Stones went for $40,000. Larry King Live tickets went for $11,000 and American Idol Tickets went for $10,500. An oceanfront estate stay in Hawaii brought in $7,000 and a 5 night stay in a French Chateau rendered $4,500. A Pamplemousse dinner for 24 went for a scrumptious $12,000.

Larry King and Ryan Seacrest topped it by presenting two items that were priceless. They presented the 2006 Leadership Awards to the Myron and Wolf families for their dedication to community service and to Kids Korps USA. Gala Event Chairs, Connie and Bill McNally, and Gala Co-Chairs, Marian Benassi, Stephanie Kourie and Tiffany Mahoney led the applause for the Myron and Wolf families

More to be applauded are: the Gala Committee including dedicated Eva Allison, Cindy Bloch, Diana Burdick, Jennifer Dunn, Barbara Enberg, April Guinchard, Michele Homan, Peggy Jennings, Susan McKenna, Sooz Noll, Marina Pastor, Lisa Peterson, Lisa Rosen, Heather Scherer, Linda Smith, Shelby Strong, Karen Tanz, Leann Van Langen, Joani Wafer, Wendy Walker, Michelle Weinger, Suzy Westphal and the Wine Auction Chair, Bertrand Hug of Mille Fleurs.


National Board Members: Cindy Bloch, Larry Bloch, Barbara Enberg, Brian Hawkins, Dawn Lehman, Charles Lehman, Connie McNally, Catherine Nicholas, Kimberly Pavel, Bonnie Spence, Lee Stein, Ellen Stiefler, Joani Wafer, Andrea Naversen-Wait, Wendy Walker, Michelle Weinger, Joanne Wolf.

If you see some names two or three times, that's because they work that hard for Kids Korps USA.

Among the generous sponsors: Giorgio Armani, Clout Financial Services, Inc., Joanne & David Wolf, Patty Applegate, Bank of America - The Private Bank, Marian & John Benassi, Heller Ehrman, LLP, Cindy and Larry Bloch, Susan Kazmarek and Craig Biddick, Daniel Bunn, Jenny & Sid Craig, FreeLife International & GojiKids, La Casa Center for Autism, Cammy & Terry Larsen, Connie & Bill McNally - The McNally Company Antiques, Lomas Santa Fe Group, Bertrand Hug - Mille Fleurs, Catherine & Art Nicholas, Serenity Fund, Karen & Stuart Tanz, Pan Pacific Retail Properties, Wealth TV, K. Ann Brizolis, Discount Tire Company, Barbara & Dick Enberg, Cathy & Brad Geier, Verna Harrah, Jenny Craig International, Regents Bank, Joani & Chuck Wafer, Tobi & Ben Blatt, Ken King of San Diego Pools, La Salle Bank Wealth Management, Dawn & Charlie Lehman, Cheri Myron, Chrissy & Rick Nicholas, SDG&E, Susan & Bryce Rhodes, Sycuan Resort & Casino, and Eileen Warren.

Marian Benassi, Gala Co-Chair had this to add."This was Kids Korps' most successful gala ever. We were thrilled to have Larry King join us again this year and American Idol's Ryan Seacrest was a real sensation. Everyone seemed to enjoy the theme and decorations that transformed the evening into an enchanting evening in Spain."

Stephanie Kourie, Gala Co-Chair agreed and added this.
"A special thanks to Wendy Walker for her continued support .A very big thank you also goes out to Larry King who returns faithfully year after year, and who is such a draw for our event.Also this year we were very lucky to have the extremely popular host of American idol, Ryan Seacrest as our guest, he was such a fun co-host with Mr.King! Thank you to all those who attended the event, your continued support is greatly appreciated."

continue to page 2 for more Gala Photos

Kids Korps USA

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* Margo Schwab has produced, written, interviewed and photographed for various media organizations since 1989. Schwab has a B.A. degree from Scripps College and a Masters of Business degree from the University of San Diego. Schwab volunteers for numerous charity organizations. She also continues to lobby for water safety and for family violence mitigation. Schwab is the owner and publisher of The Social Diary.

Warning ** photos, video and writing on this site are the

copyright of the author, The Social Diary, San Diego Social Diary, margomargo.com and Margo Schwab.

no reproduction of any part or parts is allowed without written permission by Margo Schwab





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