H.E.L.P.’s 2019 annual gala Celebrate Summer fundraiser was themed “Journey to Grand Adventures,” and was one of the most successful ever. Guests were greeted at the door with complimentary champagne and appetizers, and the opportunity to browse through the many wonderful silent auction baskets arranged by Gala Chair, Nancy Scott, and her committee. Gala Committee members were: Silent Auction Co-chair: Linda Cochrane; Wine Chance Chairs: Mardy Maehara and Sally Moton; Sponsorship Chairs: Debbie Richardson and Lauren Phan; Volunteer Chairs: Yim Hom and Lupe Hoxworth; Registration Chair: Linda Smith; Décor Chair: Kim Engen; Raffle Chair: Joyce Kochanowski, and Linda Moriwaki: Gift Baskets. As well as office volunteers Barbara Carlson, Kim Perkins, and Lisa McKernan; and Ardis Shubin, our H.E.L.P. Community Services Specialist, who coordinates our programs at H.E.L.P. Members of the Torrance Woman’s Club also come each year and help us with our auction closing.

H.E.L.P. Board Chair, Dr. Tom Paulsen, M.D., welcomed guests into dinner and introduced other Board members. Dinner table centerpieces featured colorful miniature hot air balloons, designed by gala committee Décor Chair, Kim Engen, added a festive ambiance to the ballroom. Executive Director, Britt Huff, Ph.D., introduced the event sponsors, beginning with Grand Presenting Sponsor: the Ralph Scriba Family Fund. Ralph Scriba is a former H.E.L.P. honoree and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from H.E.L.P. for his longtime, generous support of H.E.L.P.’s vital programs and services for seniors. David and Ann Buxton were Diamond Sponsors. Sapphire Sponsors were: Brad and Jennifer Baker; Jeff Hahn, of Framers and Merchants Trust Co.; L.A. County Supervisor, Janice Hahn; and Allen & Dorothy Lay.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of three awards to worthy honorees for their community service and philanthropy. The Legacy Award was given to Brad Baker, of Baker Burton & Lundy law firm in Hermosa Beach, who served two terms as Vice Chair of the H.E.L.P. Board of Directors, and has been a longtime H.E.L.P. supporter. The H.E.L.P. Legacy Award recognizes an individual who has been instrumental in the growth of H.E.L.P. and personally taken on H.E.L.P.’s mission.

Ann & David Buxton received the H.E.L.P. Vanguard Award, which is given to an individual, couple, or organization that has created a positive impact on their community through the support of charities and non-profits, and by encouraging volunteerism and donations. In addition to all of the worthy causes they have supported together, during his 40-year commercial, mortgage, and real estate investment banking careers, David has been a strong financial supporter of the South Bay community. He is a founding Board Member of the Torrance Police Foundation and has been instrumental in raising funds for the department for such vital equipment as bulletproof vests. Ann has been a supporter of the Palos Verdes Art Center for almost 20 years. She has served on the Board of Trustees for five years, president for two years and Chairman of the Board for this past year. Ann also served as president of the Circle, a support group of the PVAC which consists of a very active 100 plus ladies, and raises money for the art center by having a Homes Tour, an event that is in its 33rd year.

Dorothy and Allen Lay received the Inspiration Award which is given to an individual or couple who have set an example for the community, and inspired others, through their donations, support, and community service. Together the Lays have been very involved in the local music and art communities. They have supported the Palos Verdes Art Center; she on the Board of the Circle, and he as past president and chairman of the Board of Trustees. Dottie, who has been a career violinist for over 60 years, has been past president of the Peninsula Committee for the LA Philharmonic and served on the Board of the Peninsula Symphony. Allen, founder of several technology and venture capital firms over the years, served as a Councilman for the City of Rolling Hills from 1994 to 2015, which included several terms as Mayor.

Steve Napolitano, Mayor of Manhattan Beach, and a former H.E.L.P. honoree himself, served as the award presenter and volunteer auctioneer for the evening’s live auction, his sixth year of doing so. The live charity auction featured wonderful donated vacation packages such as a Mammoth ski condo donated by Kathy and Bob Swank; an overnight staycation at the Terannea Resort, donated by resort president, Terri Haack; two one-week stays at Brad Baker’s Maui condo; and a weekend at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco, donated by Richard and Melanie Lundquist. Also popular items were two “Private Chefs –Asian Fusion Surf and Turf Wine-Pairing” dinner parties for 10 hosted by Debbie Richardson and Lauren Phan; a week at the Marriott Desert Springs Resort donated by Debbie Richardson; a miniature child’s Tesla, donated by Grant Niman; and a weekend at the Hermosa Beach House Hotel, with a sunset harbor and ocean cruise, donated by Board member Wendy Bond. Lively bidding resulted in generous funds being raised in support of H.E.L.P.’s programs and services for seniors. H.E.L.P. staff member Ardis Shubin donated the raffle prize, a 4-day stay in a Hilton resort. The package included airfare donated by former H.E.L.P. Board chair, Sharon Ryan. Thank you to all who attended and supported the H.E.L.P. gala.

*Scroll down for photos of the gala

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

Grand Presenting Sponsor 

The Scriba Family

Diamond Sponsor 

Ann & David Buxton

Sapphire Sponsors 

Brad & Jennifer Baker – Baker Burton & Lundy, Law Offices, Jeff Hahn – Farmers & Merchants Trust Co., Janice Hahn – LA County Supervisor, Allen and Dorothy Lay

Ruby Sponsors 

Michael & Honeya Barth – Michael Barth Attorney at Law, Yim Hom & Dr. Simon Lo, Honda Motor Company – Steve Morikawa, Drs. Tom & Tricia Paulsen, West Basin Municipal Water District – Director Harold Williams

Pearl Sponsors

Continental Development Corporation, Jacky Glass, Stella Horton, Jerry & Carol Marcil, Grant Niman, Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center, Robert & Mary Sheh, Sandra Sanders – Re/Max, The Canterbury, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Torrance Refining Company, Hillary & Bob Watts, Kerry Welch


Johannessen Trading Company, Scott Donnelly – PDM Accountancy, Laura and Juris Kauls – CPAs, Donna & Dennis Chock

Fund the Mission

Brad & Jennifer Baker, Mike Botello, Kent Burton, Barbara Carlson, Don Corsaro, Evan Koch, Sally Moton, Philip Ross, Susan Seamans, Linda S. Smith, Jerry Wahlin, Gary Wayland, Clint Wilson, Vincent & Karen Woo


Bob & Rosalie Abelson, Carolyn Ayers, Virginia Butler & Les Fishman, Drs. Phyllis Monroe & David Cannom, Fred & Susan Christie, Duane Conover, Helen Dennis, Doris Herzog, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Hinkley – American Quality Care for the Elderly, Slavka Jasik – At Home with Care, Gail & Bob Johnson, Ellen Kircher, Mr. & Mrs. Aaron Landon, Dr. Rosemary Leake, Hazel & James Lord, Stephen Love, Kay Magee, Chuck & Lisa Noski, Mr. William Oberholzer, Harvey E. Sarver, Mrs. Linda S. Smith, Sandy VandenBerge, Fran & Sidney Wielin, Robert & Elly Visser

Dinner Wine Donors 

Michael Barth, Joyce Kochanowski, Sally Moton, Nancy Scott

Drs. Tom & Tricia Paulsen – reception champagne


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


Brad & Jennifer Baker, Michael & Honeya Barth, Allen & Wendy Bond, Virginia Butler & Les Fishman, Barbara Carlson, Mike & Linda Cochrane, Kim Engen, Jeff Hahn – Farmers & Merchants Trust Company, Yim Hom & Simon Lo, Laura Kauls, Cathy Luciano, Mardy Maehara, Sally Matsumoto, Margaret Mohr, Sally Moton, Mary Murphy, Marcia Okimoto, Tom Paulsen, Peter Pettler, Mike & Debbie Richardson, Nancy Scott, Gayle Shubin, Linda S. Smith, Kathy Swank


Absolution Brewing Company, AMC Theatres, Andre’s Restaurant – Doubletree Hotel, Aquarium of the Pacific, Battleship Iowa, Bay Club Rolling Hills, BJ’s Restaurant, Bluewater Grill, Bonello’s New York Pizza, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, California Academy of Sciences, California Pizza Kitchen, Chef Melba’s Bistro, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Comedy & Magic Club, Courtyard by Marriott, Crème de la Crepe, Crocker & Starr Wines, Depot Restaurant, Elephant Bar, Equinox Fitness, Giorgios, Honey Baked Ham, Il Fornaio, Inglenook Vineyards, La Mirada Theatre, Landry’s, Lomeli’s, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Malarkey Grill, Mimi’s Café, Miyako Hybrid Hotel, Monkish Brewing Co., Olive Garden, P.F. Chang’s, Paisanos Pizza, Petersen Automotive Museum, Picaboo, Portofino Hotel & Marina, Ralphs, Red Car Brewery, Rolling Hills Country Club, Santa Anita Park, Simms Restaurants, Spirit Cruises, Sprouts Farmers Market, Sushi Delight, Terranea Resort, The Broad, The Huntington, The Original Red Onion, Trump National Golf Club, Truxton’s American Bistro, Vons, Wine Shoppe

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

Brad & Jennifer Baker, Allen & Wendy Bond, Terri Haack – Terranea Resort, Hermosa Beach House Hotel, Richard & Melanie Lundquist – Continental Development Corporation, Lauren Phan, Grant Niman, Debbie Richardson, Ardis Shubin, Sharon Ryan, Kathy and Bob Swank

Dr. Tom Paulsen, H.E.L.P. Board Chair, welcomes gala guests.

Gala Chair, Nancy Scott (right), with gala committee members Lupe Hoxworth, Sally Moton, Mardi Maehara.

Gala volunteers (from left): Joyce Kochanowski, Mardi Maehara, Linda Smith, Lisa McKernan, Gala Chair Nancy Scott, Kim Perkins, Yim Hom, Barbara Carlson, Donna Chock, Sally Moton, and Ardis Shubin.

Gala committee Sponsorship Chair, Lauren Phan (left), with Board member Michael & Honeya Barth, and Honoree David Buxton.

H.E.L.P. gala Décor Chair, Kim Engen (left), with Pam Schachter, Britt Huff, H.E.L.P. Executive Director, and Dr. Ken Huff.

Legacy Honoree Brad Baker, with Jennifer Baker

Honorees David & Ann Buxton receive the H.E.L.P. Vanguard Award from Britt Huff, H.E.L.P. Executive Director, and emcee Steve Napolitano, Mayor of Manhattan Beach.

Steve Napolitano (left) and Britt Huff (right) present the H.E.L.P. Inspiration Award to Dottie and Allen Lay.

Britt Huff, with Board members Scott Donnelly (second to left), Grant Niman and his wife, Kathleen Parker.

Board member Jeff Hahn with his wife Tracy.

Marty Gamble & Dr. Peter Barrett

Former Board member and Honoree George & Helen Nakano.

Aaron & Maude Landon

Ardis Shubin, H.E.L.P. Community Services Specialist, receives thank you and flowers from Tom Paulsen, H.E.L.P. Board Chair.

Former Board member and honorees, Bill & Phyllis Glantz, have winning bid on Asian Fusion dinner.

Britt Huff welcomes John Jaacks and Sandra Sanders.

Sandra Allbee (left) with H.E.L.P. Board members Yim Hom and Nancy Scott.

Britt announces sponsors.

Brad Baker receives award from Britt Huff and Steve Napolitano.

Buxton family

H.E.L.P Board Chair: Dr. Tom Paulsen

Grant Niman and wife, Kathleen Parker

Kim Engen, H.E.L.P. gala Décor Chair, with husband Chris Engen.