Community News

Illumination Foundation Raised $1.5 Million at Annual Chef’s Table Gala to Support Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness

by: Dan Pittman
Published: April 10, 2024


L-R: Linda Young, Lourdes Nark, Alaina Stamos, Kay Patel, John Stamos, Caitlin Stamos, and Urvashi Tarsadia


SANTA ANA...Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the mission to disrupt the cycle of homelessness, raised $1.5 million at their 11th Annual Chef’s Table gala on March 24 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. More than 400 philanthropic individuals, businesses, and community leaders gathered to support Illumination Foundation and their mission to disrupt the cycle of homelessness. Celebrity guests included Actor John Stamos, Actor Buck Taylor, and Former Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Vince Ferragamo. Illumination Foundation honored Tarsadia Foundation and Golden Eagle Foundation for their long-time support. Event proceeds will provide support for Illumination Foundation’s Children and Family Program at their family emergency homes.  

“We are inspired by the generosity of our Chef’s Table sponsors, restaurant partners, and guests and their compassion for our mission to disrupt the cycle of homelessness,” said Dr. Pooja Bhalla, Chief Executive Officer of Illumination Foundation. “We are pleased to honor Tarsadia Foundation and Golden Eagle Foundation for their ongoing support that has allowed us to provide housing and healthcare for those in need. Thanks to our many supporters, families in our family emergency homes have a safe place to stay and receive supportive services on their journey to permanent housing. Together, we can empower one another to bring change to the community and bring more families home.”

Chef’s Table was presented by Disneyland Resort, a long-standing supporter of Illumination Foundation and its mission. Andrew Sutton, Executive Chef Disneyland Resort; Chef Amar Santana from Vaca; Chef Kori Sutton; other acclaimed chefs from local restaurants; and 400 individuals, business, and community leaders gathered to support Illumination Foundation.   

Chef’s Table featured delicious food prepared tableside by each chef. Each table of guests had a unique dining experience interacting with their chef throughout the evening. The ballroom was breathtaking with tablescapes of flowers and other decor designed to showcase every restaurant and provide ambiance that created an elegant setting. The evening included a reception, silent and live auctions, fund-a-need, and an inspirational video featuring Illumination Foundation clients.

Participating restaurants included: 21 Royal, Adya, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, Cambalache Grill, Carbonara’s Catering, Catered Courses, Chef Kori Sutton,  Embers & Ash, Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden, Fork in the Road, Henry’s Coastal Cuisine at The Waterfront Beach Resort, Lotus of Siam, Mastro’s Restaurants, Melissa’s Produce, Napa Rose, Oak Laguna Beach, Oceans & Earth, Produce Catering + Creative, Rancho Capistrano Winery, Rocco’s Restaurant, Sapphire Catering, Stella’s Catering, Strong Water Anaheim, Ten Sushi + Cocktail Bar, TGIS Catering, The Cellar Restaurant, The Pacific Club, The RANCH Restaurant, Tocca Ferro Italian Chophouse, Twenty Eight OC, URBANA Mexican Gastronomy, Vaca Restaurant, and Villa Roma.

Specialty and reception sponsors included Descanso Restaurant, Morro Bay Oyster Company, Illumination Foundation Chef Bryan Stanlow, Sojourn Cellars, Fairwinds Estate Winery, Wayne Family Estate Wines, Jacqueline DuPont-Carlson and Alison Hoeven, Melissa’s Produce, Habit Burger Grill, OC Baking Company, Coca-Cola, Tequila Comisario, Illumination Foundation Board Members, Fisher & Phillips, Carrington Charitable Foundation, and City of Hope.

Live auction items included a 21 Royal all-inclusive experience that included a private dinner party for up to 12 guests and park admission; a Rolex watch, a SoCal sports and entertainment package, a Razo Family Taste of Argentina dinner for 20 people at Villa Roma or Cambalache restaurants; a Specialized bike; a Newport Beach Coastal Retreat for 12 at a home on the boardwalk and a taco dinner with wine pairing by Chef Wing Lam; a signed football by Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and a Wine & Dine dinner for 12 at the RANCH Restaurant.      

Chef’s Table was co-chaired by Illumination Foundation Board Members Jacqueline DuPont-Carlson and Karen Jordan.

Chef’s Table Event sponsors included: Disneyland Resort, Bickerstaff Family Foundation, Golden Eagle Foundation, Experian, StrikeWorks, The Haynes Family, Brigitte and Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation, Jacqueline Dupont-Carlson and Marc Carlson, Karen Jordan, The Bascom Group, LLC, Kaiser Permanente, Stanbridge University, Howard Mirowitz and Greg Buchert, Frome Family Foundation, Magda Fichter and Friends, Scott and Leslie Siegel, Prospera Hotels, Laurie and Jim Allen, Linda and Burton Young, Voluspa, Fisher & Phillips, LLP, KPMG, Alison Hoeven, The Warren Family, The Grover Family, TGIS Catering, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Dr. Ripu Arora and Dr. Larry Haynes, Wes and Judith Whitmore, and the Crean Foundation.

Illumination Foundation provides housing and healthcare to those experiencing homelessness.
Illumination Foundation served nearly 7,000 people in 2023 through their navigation centers/shelters, family emergency homes, recuperative care centers, multi-service centers, micro-communities, housing programs, and other community support services.  

Werkit Photo


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