United Way of the Desert raises over $200,000 with their 29th Annual Gala

                                                                                                                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact: Kristen Dolan

(760) 323-2731 x103




United Way of the Desert raises over $200,000 with their 29th Annual Gala

RANCHO MIRAGE – (May 14, 2019) – In its 29th year, the United Way of the Desert Gala estimates over $214,000 was raised last Friday to fund United Way’s community programs focused on breaking the cycle of poverty in the Coachella Valley. The exquisite event was produced by Frank Goldstin and MOMENTOUS Events.

United Way of the Desert CEO, Kristal Granados expressed gratitude over the outpouring of support from attendees. “The evening was magical. Our community is incredibly generous and our supporters demonstrated their commitment to join us in the fight against poverty in the Coachella Valley.”

Paula and Carl Karcher were honored with the 2019 John J. Benoit Community Hero Award which was established in 2017 to pay tribute to John Benoit’s many years of service to the United Way of the Desert and the Coachella Valley community. The award was presented to them by 2017 recipient Sheryl Benoit and 2018 awardee Bill Powers.

Highlights from the evening included a $100/ticket raffle to win a $15,000 diamond necklace from El Paseo Jewelers, France Joli getting the audience in the disco mood as soon as the doors opened, and the Citrus College Nightshift Orchestra closed the show with disco hits. Guests were handed disco ball necklaces, glow sticks, and tinsel wigs by disco roller ladies as they danced the night away.

In line with United Way of the Desert’s mission, much of the night looked at the many ways in which poverty affects our Valley. Many in the room were shocked to learn that through the vulnerabilities that poverty brings, human trafficking has become a popular practice in our own backyard. Over $53,000 was raised in the ‘Fund A Need’ immediately following Granados’ impactful speech regarding the issue of human trafficking in the Coachella Valley.

United Way of the Desert would like to thank all the event sponsors who helped make the evening possible: Thriving Partner – El Paseo Jewelers, Steve Tobin and the Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Flourishing Sponsor – Desert Care Network, Prospering Partners -  The Practice CPA Inc., Contour Dermatology, JP Morgan Chase, Saks Fifth Avenue, The City of Rancho Mirage, US Bank, and Wells Fargo. Developing Partners - California Alliance for Renewable Energy, First Bank, and Pacific Premier Bank.


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