Our 4th Annual Night of Strength Gala was an unprecedented success! We had 350 attendees at the Huffington Center at St. Sophia Cathedral on Saturday, November 3rd. The “Dear Duchenne” video featuring Kobe Bryant opened the presentation, followed by inspirational speeches by Co-founders Valerie & Jorge, and update on our successful Assistance Program by Lori Ansaldi, that is changing lives. Walking Strong gave our first ever “Strength Award” to Armando and Sandra Ornelas, who had recently lost their son Kyle at 23 years old to Duchenne. Armando exhibits the pillar of strength in our community as he continues to generously give his time and talents to coach power soccer to our boys. He began coaching power soccer when his son Kyle wanted to play 10 years ago. Our live auction items were the most exciting yet, as we auctioned off Elton John Yellow Brick Road Farewell Tour Tickets, Coachella Guest Passes and a signed LeBron James jersey.
Shelea was our musical guest, who is an incredible talent and a protege of Quincy Jones and has performed with Stevie Wonder, at the White House and Lincoln Center. Shelea graced us with an emotional rendition of “Hallelujah” and then closed the night with a song she composed called “Something Beautiful.” She surprised Jorge and brought him on stage announcing to the crowd that it was his 50th Birthday the next day, and she sang him “Happy Birthday” as we surprised him with a birthday cake lit up with candles, graciously donated by Susie Cakes.
It was an inspirational evening that touched so many. The guests and invitees generously showed their love and support by helping us raise $250,000.
These funds will go towards changing the lives of many Duchenne families and to support ground-breaking scientific research to bring treatment drugs on the market.