The Diamond Ball Raises $200,000 in Support of the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions For Independence

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The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Continues to Uphold its Commitment to Support Animal Charities that Save Lives

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We are extremely grateful to everyone who attended and supported The Diamond Ball this year.

In the second year since its inception, The Diamond Ball, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s annual gala supporting animal charities that save lives, raised $200,000 for the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence, on Saturday, November 8, 2014.

Held Veterans Day Weekend, The Diamond Ball included both a silent and live auction, as well as special recognition of two veterans – Staff Sgt. Sebastian Cila, US Army (Ret.) and his Service Dog Gillian and Matthew Keil and his Service Dog Gus – who have both been recipients of CCI service dogs through the Wounded Veterans Initiative.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who attended and supported The Diamond Ball this year,” said Bruce Brainerd, General Manager. “From our major donors to the individuals who attended the gala evening, we were honored to have everyone come together to support such a deserving organization as the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence. The success of this event reminds us that our responsibility extends beyond the day-to-day operations of the resort. By embracing organizations such as CCI’s Wounded Veterans Initiative, we connect with our community through causes that have meaning for them,” he added.

The evening’s Diamond Sponsors included Vince and Susie Giovinazzo, National Financial Partners, Mikimoto, Best Chauffeured, Coast Magazine, and Strategic Hotels and Resorts.

An extension of the resort’s successful four years of Yappy Hour events, The Diamond Ball is part of the resort’s Community Footprints program. Community Footprints was created to encourage leadership in volunteerism, fundraising, product donations and mentoring programs at a local level. No project is considered too large or too small. Dedicated Ritz-Carlton Ladies and Gentlemen provide a wide range of support and services to their community, including fund-raising for local charities, reading to the blind, preparing and serving lunches at homeless shelters, donating books to schools and volunteering at food banks.

Pictured left to right:
Bruce Brainerd, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Barbara Barrow, Executive Director, Southwest Region, Canine Companions for Independence
Sheryl Ishizaki, Director of Food & Beverage, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

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About the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence
Canine Companions for Independence provides highly-trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities. Through CCI’s Wounded Veterans Initiative, veterans with physical disabilities such as hearing loss, limb amputations and spinal cord injuries are served. Established in 1975, CCI has five regional training centers across the country. CCI is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people.

About The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel premiered as the first luxury resort along coastal Orange County in August 1984. Today, the resort is a re-imagined surfside retreat that awakens guests’ senses with its unique ocean-front setting and remarkable service heritage. The resort is the premiere destination for travelers who desire a playful approach to Southern California luxury. The resort has been the recipient of many awards over the years, but is proud to boast earning AAA Five Diamond status for the 29th year, the longest in California. The resort offers many extraordinary luxury experiences including Raya, 180blũ, The Market Place, enoSTEAK, Bar Raya, The Spa and the Eco-Adventure Center. For more information or reservations call 800-241-3333, the hotel directly at 949-240-2000, a travel professional or visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/LagunaNiguel.

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Deanne French
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