28th Annual UWD Gala Press Release




Media Contact: Kristen Dolan

(760) 323-2731 x25





Bill Powers to be honored at the

28th Annual United Way of the Desert Gala



RANCHO MIRAGE – (April 18, 2018) – The United Way of the Desert Gala is back for its 28th year and it’s hotter than ever. “Hot Havana Nights” will be held on May 11, 2018 at The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. The night will begin at 6:00pm with cocktails, followed by dinner and the evening’s program. Sensation Showband will be there to carry the vibe of Havana from the door to the dance floor.

After its inaugural year, United Way is pleased to present the John Benoit Community Hero Award to United Way Board Member Bill Powers. “For decades the United Way galas have been tremendous events celebrating the hard work of the people involved plus the generosity of all the wonderful people who support the United Way. It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the United Way’s Board for over 20 years and to support the vital mission of breaking the cycle of poverty in the Coachella Valley. To be the recipient of the second John Benoit award is a huge honor for me because we were very good friends. I’m very grateful and humbled,” said Mr. Powers.

And in a first for the United Way of the Desert, MOMENTOUS will be putting on the event. “We are thrilled to be working with the great team at United Way of the Desert.  Their annual gala has always enjoyed such great success and received huge accolades. With our combined talents, we will continue to elevate the design and production of the gala with even greater guest experience all while showcasing United Way’s mission in a wonderfully dynamic event format,” said Frank Goldstin with MOMENTOUS.

On working with Frank and Momentous, United Way of the Desert CEO, Kristal Granados says, “We’re so enthused to partner with Frank Goldstin and MOMENTOUS to bring ‘Hot Havana Nights’ to a spectacular level, with extraordinary vision and fabulous fun for everyone.” She adds, “We’re also thrilled to once again host our annual gala at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. Our gala is possible because of the generosity of our partners and supporters who believe in our work and join us in the fight for the education, financial stability, and health of every resident in the Coachella Valley. We’re thrilled to recognize Bill Powers devotion to his community with the John Benoit Community Hero Award. Bill’s dedication and commitment to not only the United Way of the Desert as a 20+ year board member, but to our entire community, is legendary. We are grateful for his leadership and philanthropic spirit that has improved our Coachella Valley.”

United Way is incredibly grateful for the support of our 2018 Corporate Gala Sponsors: Gold Level – El Paseo Jewelers, Silver Sponsors – Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Contour Dermatology, Pacific Premier Bank, Wells Fargo, and Saks Fifth Avenue. There are more sponsorship opportunities available! Please contact Kristal Granados to learn how you can become one – kristal@uwdesert.org or call 760.323.2731 x22.

Tickets can be purchased at UnitedWayoftheDesert.org/unitedwaydesertpresents or by calling 760.323.2731


Photo Descriptions

Photo 1: Bill Powers

Photo 2: Anita & Bill Powers at the 2017 United Way Gala

Photo 3: The Mehta Family at last year’s Gala

Photo 4: The Karcher Family at the 2017 United Way Gala

Photo 5: From L to R – United Way Board President Lynne Stephenson, Board Member Jack FitzGerald, CEO Kristal Granados, and Philanthropist Donna MacMillan

Photo 6: Sensation Showband performs at the 2017 United Way Gala

Photo 7: Sensation Showband Bandmates pose for photo booth pictures

Photo 8: United Way Board Members pose for photo booth pictures to capture the night

Photo 9: United Way Board Members gather for a group photo before heading into the 2017 United Way of the Desert Gala


About United Way: United Way of the Desert is an independent 501(c) 3 organization that has been serving residents for over 70 years. Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty in the Coachella Valley through mobilizing the caring power of community. Our Community Impact Fund – a focus on the areas of education, financial stability and health programs - allows us to provide over 150,000 instances of annual support to local residents who need us. Collaborative work with local programs, business partners, and community leaders is what differentiates the United Way of the Desert. We cater to critical needs, while simultaneously building positive and long-lasting community change. For more information: (760) 323-2731 or visit UnitedWayoftheDesert.org. United Way of the Desert is located at: 73710 Fred Waring Dr., Suite 104, Palm Desert, CA 92260. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - @UWDesert