On Sunday, October 1, 2017, A Window Between Worlds brought more than 200 friends together at Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica for the first annual heART Awards and fundraising brunch. This event would not have been possible without our incredible community of hosts, sponsors, guests, and volunteers – thank you! Our deepest gratitude to Event Chair Kristina Mitchell, and our Honorary Chair Bobbie McMorrow. Thanks to everyone’s support, we raised $94,000 to support AWBW’s transformative arts programming, bringing AWBW’s curriculum to even more survivors of trauma in Los Angeles and across the country.
The 2017 heART Awards set out to honor three community members who represent the core values of our organization’s mission through Creative Vision, Community Impact, and as a Compassionate Witness. Astrologer and author Dr. Stephanie Jourdan presented Mike Chearney with the Creative Vision award for his artistic collaboration with AWBW Founder Cathy Salser. Dr. Susan Lee was honored with the Compassionate Witness award by Lead Collaborating Artist Fabian Debora for her tremendous work as a trained Windows Facilitator at United American Indian Involvement. And the entire ballroom shared a moment of reflection with Dr. Lin Morel as Cathy Salser presented her with the Community Impact award for her leadership as an AWBW Board Member and Advocate for nearly two decades. When Lin Morel first became Board Chair in 1999, the Windows Program was reaching 7,600 participants each year; she helped the organization grow to now serve over 32,000 survivors annually.
The beautiful beachside ballroom provided for an ideal location to enjoy brunch on the terrace with while sipping on mimosas, wine, and vodka cocktails provided by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Foley Family Wines. Guests also shopped a luxury silent auction featuring hotel getaways, restaurants, art experiences, sporting tickets, and beautiful fashion – all through their mobile phones!
A highlight of the silent auction was watching the stunning 36 canvases painted as one by artist and honoree Mike Chearney each find a new home, while remaining connected to one another. He created this energy transmitter, titled A Window Between Worlds, with each canvas named by AWBW Founder Cathy Salser with words from the voices of our program participants. It is always a joy to partner with an artist like Mike Chearney, who truly understands the healing power of art. The exhibition is available for viewing online.
Master of Ceremonies Dennis Rizza excited the whole crowd as he live auctioned a pair of tickets to the not-to-be-missed Hamilton musical at the Hollywood Pantages! He and Audrey Salzburg, AWBW’s Chief Executive Officer, called upon each guest to recognize the important role they play in our community by giving any amount they could to strengthen and sustain AWBW’s reach – together the room raised over $20,000 right on the spot! We encourage even those who could not attend to make a gift and help us reach $100,000 in honor of this year’s heART Awards – any amount makes a huge difference.
Special thanks to our event photographers: Venice Paparazzi, Christopher Murray, and Bossanova Events. Check out their images on our Facebook!