By Ellen Zacarias
Our biggest event of the year, SDPA’s Winter Wonderland Holiday Gala took place at The Dana on Mission Bay on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. It was a big success thanks to the support of volunteers, sponsors, and attendees. Our sponsors for the holiday gala include: Taylor Morse, UCSD Extension, Procopio, Butterfield Schechter LLP, and First Legal. Thank you all for coming and showing your support!
Dovie King, Esq. was our keynote speaker at the gala. She is the founder and director of SOAR for Justice (Survivors of Abuse Rising for Justice), and has done amazing work as the human rights commissioner in Belmont, Massachusetts. Thank you for sharing your experience and cause with us, Dovie!
Teri Burg of StandUp for Kids (SDPA’s 2018-2019 Charity of Choice) also spoke to attendees. She shared stories of the homeless children who are helped by her and her team at StandUp for Kids. Throughout the night, attendees donated jeans to StandUp for Kids, which will be crucial in keeping our city's homeless youth warm as we head into colder temperatures this winter. Thank you all for your donations!
SDPA presented its annual awards. Procopio, LLP won Law Firm of the Year for all their pro bono and active work in the community.
Arthur Chavez won the Making a Difference Award for all his contributions to SDPA and Cuyamaca College’s paralegal community.
Bridget Winandy won the Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year award for all the great volunteer work she has done.
K-Rad Consulting, headed by Alicia Aquino and Kelli Moro, won the Sponsor of the Year award. Congratulations to you all!
SDPA’s award committee also presented its secret awards to Julie Schwartz and Kristine Custodio for their lifelong commitment to the paralegal profession. Congratulations to you two!
Of course, we also held raffles! Thank you to everyone who donated raffle prizes: SDPA, Rob and Donna Mihalco, Sara Lutz, Rena Sugarman at Plush Salon, Krystal Dyer, Jaylin Allen at Boutique Fitness, Jillian at Cali4Fitness, Alison M. Greenlee, Andrea Laparra at Doterra, Carlina Fonseca at PEterson Reporting, and Susanne de la Flor at Litivate. All proceeds go to benefit our charity of choice, StandUp for Kids.
Dovie King presented the new 2019 board of directors: President Julie A. Schwartz, VP of Programs and Education Alison Greenlee, VP of Membership Joe (Souriya) Maniwan, and Secretary Claire Hamilton. SDPA Directors for 2019 include: April Amador, Kristine Custodio, ACP, Sheila Grela, ACP, June Hunter, Donna Mihalco, Dawn Regner, Emily Roman, Brianne Williams (Cohen), and Ellen Zacarias. We are looking forward to another great year!