The ninth annual Volunteer Appreciation Gala, held on February 22, 2014 at the W Hotel in San Francisco, was the most successful event in all of Alliance for Smiles' history. Over 225 guests arrived ready to party, celebrate, and honor those individuals who give of their talents so generously to the work of repairing broken smiles.
The evening began with a great cocktail party and silent auction. That was followed by dinner and a live auction, conducted by Jim Patrick with such popular items as two donated stays in Hawaii - one at the ever popular home of John Goings on Kauai and the second at a spectacular Molokai island estate. Once again Lisa and Johnny Scopazzi offered their Five Stars Yacht for a cruise on the Bay for 30 special guests along with great food and wine.
The most important event of the evening was the awarding of the three AfS awards to recognize donors and volunteers. The John Uth Memorial Award was given to the Rotary Club of Wanchai Hong Kong for its continued generosity over the last nine years. When AfS first began this club raised over $100,000 to support missions.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Dr. Chih-Chen Fang, AfS lead anesthesiologist from Kaiser Sacramento and an AfS Board Member. To celebrate, Dr. Fang brought 50 of his closest friends from Sacramento who cheered wildly on the presentation of his award.
AfS' most prestigious award, The Distinguished Service Award, went to Tina Hollcroft. After an emotional introduction by her co-volunteer, Barbara Fisher, Tina gave a heartwarming speech recounting her experiences with AfS and her belief in the work being done by all the volunteers. Tina has put in countless hours dedicated to developing missions to difficult regions of the world and to raising funds to support these missions.
Tina's speech so inspired the audience that when asked to step to the plate and donate directly to mission work, over $60,000 was raised in five minutes! AfS sends its thanks to all the generous supporters.
The formal part of the evening being over, the attendees swung out to the floor to dance the rest of the night away with DJ Dave Crosby directing the music. AfS extends its appreciation to everyone who participated in the event and to all of the generous businesses and individuals who donated items for the live and silent auctions.
Honoree Tina Hollcroft w/
her mother and grandmother
Deputy Consul General Bi Gang
congratulates AfS on its work
Jim Patrick flexing his
Dr. Chih-Chen Fang
accepting his award