By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
Ascencia, the Glendale-based program that works to “lift people out of homelessness,” hosted an extravagant Spanish Night on the Sunset Express at Union Station on Saturday night.
The fundraiser offered a look into the work done by the organization while celebrating the service and philanthropy of the Glendale Chapter of NCL, Inc.
“This annual gala is not only our major fundraiser, but our opportunity to honor and thank our supporters, and introduce new people to our work of lifting families and individuals out of homelessness,” said Natalie Profant Komuro, executive director of Ascencia. “This year’s honoree, the Glendale Chapter of National Charity League, represents the best mix of volunteerism and fundraising on our behalf.”
Accepting the Ambassador of Hope Award was Bella Portantino, daughter of State Senator Anthony Portantino.
The evening was emceed by ABC7 Eyewitness News co-anchor Ellen Leyva who welcomed guests to the 11th annual affair. Lively dance performances by Paco and Yolanda Arroyo and Company kept the Spanish atmosphere alive.
In addition to enjoying dance and gourmet food, guests were able to participate in a live auction. La Crescenta businessman Rick Dinger, who recently announced his candidacy for the Glendale City Council, returned for the second year as auctioneer for the gala. Guests had the chance to bid on an assortment of items including sports packages, four nights in Mammoth in a four-bedroom townhome and a Disney Castle package.
“The proceeds from this event leverage our federal grants and make it possible for us to offer the highest quality services to people in dire need of help,” said Profant Komuro.
A highlight of the evening was when a former client of Ascencia took the mic to share his story. Ten years ago Anthony Rubio didn’t have a home, money or a job. After working with Ascencia, in 2016 Rubio graduated from its shelter plus care program with a job that provided financial security.
“We are very grateful to Anthony Rubio for sharing his story with our guests so they can see the tangible result of our work,” said Profant Komuro.
To learn how to contribute to Ascencia and discover more of its work, call (818) 246-7900, email info@AscenciaCA.org or visit www.ascenciaca.org.