Lifting Spirits & 'Creating Hope'—Alzheimer's Association, Orange County Raises $525,000 at Gala

Generous Donors, Friendly Auction Competition and the Soulful Music of Taylor Hicks Come Together to Support AAOC’s Ongoing Mission
AAOC CEO Jim McAleer with American Idol Taylor Hicks
AAOC CEO Jim McAleer with American Idol Taylor Hicks
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Alzheimer S
Orange County
Taylor Hicks
Jim McAleer


Irvine - California - US

IRVINE, Calif. - March 10, 2014 - PRLog -- On Saturday, March 1, Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County (AAOC) (, one of Orange County’s premier nonprofits, held its annual gala at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach. Presented by the Argyros Family Foundation and chaired by Eydie and Dave MacInnis, the event themed “Creating Hope” drew more than 300 guests and raised more than $525,000. The total included a $250,000 gift from Karl and Tina Weber.

With 84,000 people in Orange County alone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the funds raised from the event are critically needed to support research and resources for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementia.

“While I love what I do, I hope that one day I’ll be out of a job,” remarked Jim McAleer, president and CEO of AAOC. “Then, we will have beaten this disease and generations to come will never experience its heartbreak. The gala was a huge success—we hope our guests enjoyed ‘Creating Hope’ with all of us at AAOC.”

An awards ceremony recognized honorees for their generous work with AAOC throughout 2013. All are prominent business figures within Orange County, and all have watched a loved one succumb to Alzheimer’s disease:

Corporate Partner—Dr. Jacqueline Dupont, Irvine Cottages/Assured In-Home Care
Volunteer Partner—Jody Hudson, Vice President and Relationship Manager, First American Trust
Community Partner—Jeannie and Brett Lawrence, Rancho Las Lomas
Philanthropy Partner—Don Palmer

Further bolstering the evening were the live auction and pledges, including:

·         A glass of tap water that sold for $1,600, designed to encourage giving for its own sake.

·         A two-night stay in a three-bedroom villa at The Resort at Pelican Hill

·         An all-day VIP experience with the league leading Anaheim Ducks

·         A one-of-a-kind experience at Rancho Las Lomas

·         Two Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim VIP packages

The evening closed out with the Club Hope concert, an hour-long performance by American Idol Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks. Hicks shared his signature blend of blues and country, belting out soulful hits like Elton John’s “Levon” and Ray Charles’s “Hallelujah I Love Her So.”

AAOC thanks the gala’s additional donors and sponsors, including Anaheim Ducks, Alaska Airlines, Assured In-Home Care and Irvine Cottages, Dorothy Dougher and Debi Dougher-Pavlik, First American Trust, Farmers and Merchants Trust Company, Four Seasons Resort – Maui at Wailea, Gateway One Lending, Lia Iacocca-Assad and Victor Assad, Rancho Las Lomas and The Resort at Pelican Hill.

Alzheimer’s is the fourth-leading cause of death in Orange County, and sixth nationwide. The Alzheimer’s Association is the primary resource for families battling this disease with free services, including a 24/7 helpline, support groups, research trials and educational materials. The proceeds from the gala will allow AAOC to continue providing free care and services to those affected with Alzheimer’s disease as well as fund further treatment research, ensuring that no matter the diagnosis, families and patients should always hold onto hope.

About Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter

The Alzheimer's Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Since 1982, Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter has been providing programs and services, free of charge, to Orange County residents with Alzheimer’s and related disorders, their families, caregivers, and the community. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative illness that weakens the memory and other cognitive and emotional functions. For more information, call the 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900, or visit

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Melissa Masters
Source:HKA, Inc. Marketing Communications
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Tags:Alzheimer S, Orange County, Gala, Taylor Hicks, Jim McAleer
Industry:Health, Society
Location:Irvine - California - United States
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