LA's BEST Raises $1.7M at Dinner Honoring Retiring President & CEO Carla Sanger

Mayors and Carla

Mayor Eric Garcetti, and former Mayors Richard Riordan and James Hahn attended the LA’s BEST annual family dinner on Saturday, June 14, 2014 to support CEO, Carla Sanger who is retiring after leading the organization for 26 years. The dinner raised over $1.7 million dollars, which included a pledge of $1 million from an anonymous donor!

Carla received the LA's BEST Children’s Champion award, which was presented to her by longtime friend and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries, Father Greg Boyle, and Mayor Eric Garcetti who has supported the organization since he was a councilmember.

“For all of us, for over 26 years this is a very bittersweet award to give because it’s difficult to think about LA’s BEST without Carla,” said Mayor Garcetti at the dinner.

Garcetti, Carla and Boyle

“We all know that no organization is just about one person. LA’s BEST is about all of us," Garcetti continued. "But you can say sometimes that without one person, an organization wouldn’t be where it is, and we wouldn’t be here today. And that’s who Carla Sanger is.  Carla, we honor you, the truest angel in the City of Angels.”

 Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation

The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, headed by Fran Morris Rosman and Richard Rosman was presented the LA’s BEST Foundation Award by Mayor Richard Riordan and actress Rhea Perlman for their support of literacy and music.

And former Mayor James Hahn presented the LA’s BEST Corporate Award to Michelle Kerrick on behalf of Deloitte & Touche.


The night included some other notable highlights such as an old school hip hop performance by the at Murchison Element aryLA’s BEST dance team; a unique speed painting act by artist Tim Decker; and a raffle and silent and live auction.



Live Auction

By the end of the evening over $700,000 was raised for LA’s BEST!

Michaela Pereira, CNN news anchor and host of the Family Dinner, surprised guests with a breaking news announcement—that a $1 million had been pledged to the LA’s BEST Legacy Fund by an anonymous donor!

This is only a glimpse into a truly wonderful evening, which was pulled together by the Dinner Event chair Tom Shapiro, a successful Los Angeles businessman, who has sat on the board of LA’s BEST for 20 years and his wife Debbie Shapiro, the event co-chair.

The evening kicked off with the LA's BEST Experience, a series of hands-on exhibits that gave guests a “kid’s-eye view” of some of the arts, science, nutrition, fitness, digital learning and sports activities our students participate in everyday. LA's BEST Arts Contest winners and their families were guests of the evening as well.  There was also a Flash Mob performance, and a drum circle. 

To view all the night's pictures, visit the following galleries:

LA's BEST Family Gallery 1

LA's BEST Family Gallery 2

For media inquires about the event, please contact Morenike Evans.