The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony was not the only place where golden statues glistened over the weekend. A local charity ball also featured a huge Oscar statue in the large ballroom, and the red carpet was rolled out to welcome attendees as if they were celebrities.
Via Services hosted the Oscars-themed ball Friday night. The nonprofit has provided assistance to individuals with disabilities and special needs in Santa Clara County since 1945. The glitzy event drew more than 300 people to Villa Ragusa in Campbell, where searchlights and "paparazzi" greeted them upon their entrance.
However, only some of the attendees really dressed like Oscar nominees. Most of the men wore suits rather than tuxedos, and there were more women in cocktail dresses than in ballgowns.
Attendees paid $200 to enter the ball. Some of them spent even more purchasing auction items. The fundraiser is estimated to generate a net of more than $100,000 after expenses, according to Dean Munro, director of advancement of Via Services,
Munro says almost all of the net income will go to Via West, the Cupertino campus of Via Services, which is in most need of funding.
The First Step and Via West programs of Via Services serve nearly 2,000 children and adults with disabilities and special needs. The programs are focused on their clients' physical growth and development, emotional well-being and social engagement while enhancing the community's capacity to include all its members in community life.
Numerous corporations and organizations showed their support for the noble cause of Via Services by sponsoring the 16th annual Via Ball this year. Among them, the Campbell-based Health Trust donated $5,000 in addition to providing accounting services for Via for several years, according to Munro.
Established in 1996, the Health Trust is a nonprofit foundation with three strategic initiatives: healthy living, healthy aging and healthy communities. It has direct impact on more than 21,000 people and 100 organizations annually.