The Special Olympics Southern California celebrated its 14th Annual Pier Del Sol event Sunday, with a Hawaiian Paradise theme and plenty of gourmet tastings available for the hundreds who visited the pier, all to benefit an organization that has helped some 13,000 athletes during the past 13 years.
The family-friendly fundraiser, co-sponsored by the Disney Company, Jakks Cares, Wells Fargo and Westfield Works Wonders, featured Hawaiian bands, hula dancers, an inviting Silent Auction, unlimited spins on pier rides and games and mouthwatering appetizers from restaurants across the county.
In a Silent Auction heavy on sports memorabilia and spa packages, a tribute to the “Twilight” series hysteria was the highlight. A five-foot long red wool cloak featured in the film and autographed by the film’s stars (including Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart) spurred envious gasps from young girls and bidding was intense among heavily-lobbied parents. For the losers, consolation bid items included a framed poster signed by 15 of the film’s actors.
Special Olympics Southern California has raised some $5 million since its first Pier del Sol benefit in 1997, including more than $315,000 this year. Proceeds have gone to training 13,000 southland athletes with developmental disabilities and in doing so, have “helped develop confidence, find lifelong friends and transform communities,” SOSC Chairman Patrick McClenahan said.
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"I believe in Karma. I believe it exists and whatever you do in your everyday life makes the person that you are. What you give in life comes back to you. I’m convinced of that, so I’m sure that everyday you have to be a good person and treat everyone with respect. We’re all connected."
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