Someone Cares gala nets more than $60K

Someone Cares Soup Kitchen recently raised more than $60,000 at its 26th annual gala and auction to support its hunger relief and tutoring programs.

The sold-out "Volunteerism"-themed gala celebrated the dedication and service of the group's 7,500 volunteers, who aide the soup kitchen daily.

"The one common thing that all volunteers share is a commitment and loyalty to our organization," said Shannon Santos, executive director of Someone Cares Soup Kitchen. "We give honor to them for that commitment and loyalty. Without their loving hands doing what they do, we wouldn't be able to fulfill our mission."

In addition, several awards were given out, including the Kitchen Ladle Award to OneOC, which provides nonprofits with training, consulting, volunteers and business services. Someone Cares also honored Peter Buffa with the Golden Hammer Award for his "entertaining wit and humor as the annual gala master of ceremonies for numerous years," according to a press release.

The silent auction's prizes included trips to Kauai, Maui and Cabo San Lucas, as well as Diamond Club Angels tickets, and restaurant and salon gift certificates.

Someone Cares provides food for more than 300 hungry citizens daily, according to the release. It serves the homeless, unemployed, working poor, mentally challenged, physically challenged, senior citizens and children. Meals are served from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and breakfast is served every Saturday and Sunday morning.

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