H.E.L.P.’s annual Celebrate Summer fundraiser this year took place at the Palos Verdes Golf Club on May 5, so it was natural to be themed, “Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.”  Many attendees arrived in their favorite fiesta attire, ready to enjoy margaritas and champagne as they bid on exciting silent auction items during the pre-dinner reception.  Gala chair Nancy Scott, also a member of the H.E.L.P. Board of Directors, had arrived early with her committee to prepare the festive presentation of auction packages.

H.E.L.P. Board Chair, Dr. Tom Paulsen, M.D. welcomed guests into dinner and introduced other Board members.  Executive Director, Britt Huff, Ph.D., introduced the event sponsors, beginning with Grand Presenting Sponsor and former honoree, Ralph Scriba.  Other major sponsors were Platinum Sponsor, Toyota Motor Sales, US; and Sapphire sponsors, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, and Jennifer and Brad Baker, H.E.L.P. Board Vice Chair, of Baker, Burton, and Lundy law firm.  Ruby Sponsors were The Torrance Refining Company, Farmers & Merchant Trust Company/Torrance; Drs. Tom and Tricia Paulsen; and H.E.L.P. Board and Gala Committee member, Yim Hom and her husband, Dr. Simon Lo.  (Scroll down for a full list of sponsors).

Each year H.E.L.P. honors several worthy local individuals for their contributions to the South Bay community.  This year our honorees were Debbie Richardson, Vice President of PV Premier Bank; and Kate Crane, Esq., a South Bay Estate Planning attorney.  Kate Crane received H.E.L.P.’s Legacy Award for her long time support of H.E.L.P., having served on the H.E.L.P. Board of Directors in the early years and continued that involvement over the years.  She was also recognized for her many other leadership and volunteer efforts in the community with other charitable organizations.  In addition to managing her local law firm, she also served on the Boards of LA BioMed at Harbor UCLA, the Blue Ribbon of the LA Music Center, and served on the Manhattan Beach Library Commission. For nine years she was a member of the Board of Trustees of Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and served as Chairwoman of that Board for four years. Kate is currently Chair of the Board of the John Gogian Family Foundation.

Debbie Richardson has worked in bank management for over thirty-five years, and is currently Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Premier Business Bank.  She received the H.E.L.P. Inspiration Award for her longtime leadership and service to the South Bay community.  She is a member of the Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Palos Verdes Peninsula Chambers of Commerce, and served as Board Chair of the latter.  She also served on the Board of Directors of the Palos Verdes Concours d’ Elegance, as well the Palos Verdes Art Center for many years, and is a member of their Patron Circle.  Debbie has received many awards for her community service, including Citizen of the Year for the PV Chamber of Commerce, and the Volunteer Center “Legend in Our Own Time” award.

Steve Napolitano, City Councilman and former Mayor of Manhattan Beach, served his 5th year as auctioneer for the live charity auction.  Lively bidding on donated vacation packages resulted in generous funds being raised in support of H.E.L.P.s programs and services for seniors. All of us at H.E.L.P. are grateful to all of our generous supporters.  We especially want to recognize the many hours volunteered by our gala committee members.  Assisting Nancy Scott were committee chairs Mardy Maehara, Sally Moton, Linda Cochrane, Kim Engen, Yim Hom, Linda Smith, Britt Huff & Ardis Shubin.  Other members were Barbara Carlson, Cathy Luciano, Karen Gottlieb, Joyce Kochanowski, Linda Moriwaki, Hillary Watts, Kathleen Davis, and Torrance Woman’s Club representatives.

*Scroll down for photos of the gala.

H.E.L.P. thanks our wonderful sponsors and donors to this event.      They include:


The Ralph Scriba Family


Toyota Motor Sales (U.S.A.)


Brad & Jennifer Baker, Baker, Burton & Lundy;

 L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn


Yim Hom & Dr. Simon Lo; Drs. Tom & Tricia Paulsen;

Farmers & Merchants Trust Company;

Torrance Refining Company


Jimi Andersen; Michael & Honeya Barth;

Rod Burkley & Lauren Phan;

Richard Lundquist, Continental Development Corporation;

Kate Crane, Esq.; Marylyn & Chuck Klaus;

DCH Gardena Honda; Grant Niman, Niman & Associates;

Providence Little Company of Mary So Bay;

Scott Donnellly – PDM, LLP;

Charlie Yang, Charles Schwab -Torrance Branch;

The Canterbury, Episcopal Communities & Services;

Torrance Memorial Medical Center; Robert & Hillary Watt


 Wendy Bond, Guaranty Escrow, Inc.;Donna Chock; Jackie Glass;

Laura Kauls; Mr. & Mrs. Julian Elliott; Mr. & Mrs. Allen Lay;

Peter D. Pettler, Esq.; Nancy Scott


Mr. & Mrs. Bob Abelson; Mary Ehrlich; Joyce Kochanowski;

Ms. Doris Herzog; Mr. & Dr. Stephen Love; Ms. Nancy Mahr;

Mr. & Mrs. John McDonald; Mr. & Mrs. Robert Schachter;

Mr. & Mrs. Richard Sittel; Mr. & Mrs. Robert Visser;

Keri Welch, Welch & Co. Accountancy Corporation


We also thank all of the following businesses who donated wonderful gifts for our silent auction:

Ruby’s Diner; Armstrong Nurseries; Wine Shoppe;CMS Design Portraiture; Eric Lintermans at Mauro Hair Studios; The Huntington Library; Gable House Bowl; Spirit Cruises; Torrance Flower Shop; Dr.Phil; Disneyland; Doubletree by HiltonTorrance-South Bay; Yoga Works;  Aquarium of the Pacific; Uncle Bill’s Pancake House; Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar; The Comedy & Magic Club; Fresh Brothers Pizza; The Portofino Hotel & Marina; Bonello’s N.Y. Pizza; Cabrillo Marine Aquarium; Good Stuff; Claydon Jewelers; Mimi’s Café; Santa Anita Park; Miss Nails; La Capilla Restaurant; Redondo Beach Café; Olive Garden Restaurant; Lomeli’s Italian Restaurant; Honey Baked Ham; Penzy’s Spices; La Mirada Theatre; Champagne French Bakery & Café; Tikkun Skin Care; H T Grill; BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse; Michael J Salon; Jessica Bautista Hair & Makeup; Costco; Sushi Delight; Six Flags Magic Mountain; The Broad; Medieval Times;  Total Wine & More; Warner Grand; In-N-Out Burger; Hennessey’s Tavern; Giorgio’s Italian Restaurant; Creative Cuts Int’l; Warby Parker Sunglasses; Red Lobster; Giuliano’s Delicatessen; The Monogram Shoppe; Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach; Pei Wei Asian Diner; Corazon Mexican Kitchen; Simms Restaurants; Calico; 22nd Street Landing Seafood Grill; P. F. Chang’s China Bistro; Azuma Japanese Restaurant; Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop; Ralphs – RPV; Equinox; Red Car Brewery & Restaurant; Parker’s Lighthouse; Trader Joe’s – Torrance; DuBunne Spa; Vons\Pavillions; Bay Club Rolling Hills; Palos Verdes Performing Arts; Monkish Brewing Co.; Amuse Music Inc.; Absolution Brewing Co.; L’Opera Restaurant;  Trump National Golf Club; LAPhil/Hollywood Bowl; The Corner Bakery; Nancy Scott; Barbara Carlson; Sally Moton; Mardy Maehara; Sally Matsumoto; Mary Murphy; Yim Hom; Joyce Kochanowski; Josie Auer; Margaret Mohr; John Hendricks; Scott Donnelly.

With a special thank you to our live auction and raffle donors:

California Academy of Sciences; The Admiral Risty; Nantucket Crossing; The Comedy & Magic Club; Beach House Hotel; Terranea Resort; Chef Melba’s Bistro; Ardis Shubin;  Brad & Jennifer Baker;  Richard Lundquist, Continental Development Corporation;  Norm & Cindy Miller; Judy Shephard & Karen J. Beck; Robert & Hillary Swank


Dr. Tom Paulsen, H.E.L.P. Board Chair, left, with honoree Debbie Richardson; Grand Sponsor, Ralph Scriba; honoree Kate Crane ,Esq.; H.E.L.P. Executive Director Britt Huff, Ph.D., and Gala Chair, Nancy Scott.


H.E.L.P. Board Vice Chair and major sponsor, Brad Baker, esq., of Baker, Burton, and Lundy law firm, with Jennifer Baker.


Amy Cochrane (left) and Gala Chair Nancy Scott, with gala committee chairs, Mardy Maehara, and Yim Hom.


Barbara and Mark Lurie, M.D., Torrance Memorial sponsors; with Sherry Kramer, Continental Development sponsor; and sponsor Wade Nishimoto, M.D.


Marylyn and Chuck Klaus, Pearl sponsors.


Former H.E.L.P. honoree and sponsor Jacky Glass, with Audra Platz, L.A. County Botanical Gardens; and Robin Haney, Providence Little Company sponsor.


Dr. Rosemary Leake, M.D., and Dr. Mark Goldberg, M.D., a H.E.L.P. Advisory Board member.


Tom and Sue Cody with Julie and Gary Nelson.


H.E.L.P. Advisory Board members Chris and Kim Engen/ Gala Décor Chair, with Grand Sponsor Ralph Scriba.


H.E.L.P. Advisory Board member and former Board Chair, Rod Burkley, Esq., with Lauren Phan Burkley.


Mary Harris, of Harris Financial Advisors, with Rob Palmer.


Carolin Keith Wade, former H.E.L.P. honoree, with Ruby Sponsor, Barbara Graham, of Torrance Refining Company.


Greg and Beck Schroff, Esq., with H.E.L.P. Board Treasurer, Laura and Juris Kauls, CPA’s.


Loyd Kenworthy, Anne and Ray Destabelle, and Adrienne Short.


H.E.L.P. former Board Chair, Helen Dennis, Daily Breeze columnist; with Julia Parton, Vice President of Premier Bank of Palos Verdes.


Rich Murphy and Dale Harbour-Day.


Mardy Maehara (from left seated), Gala Chair Nancy Scott, and H.E.L.P. Executive Director, Britt Huff, with their Gala Committee and volunteers, standing.