Susi Q’s Legacy Ball brings joy and contributions to one of Laguna’s favorite nonprofits 


On Saturday evening, April 6, Laguna Beach Seniors and Susi Q celebrated its 15th Legacy Ball fundraising event, which raised $380,000 for the nonprofit.

“We had a great time hosting 200 guests at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort in Dana Point,” said Nadia Babayi, executive director of the Susi Q.

The Quilter family: (L – R) Current Emeritus Council and former Board President Chris Quilter, current Emeritus Council and former Board President Christina (Tina) Haines, major donor Charles (Charlie) Quilter. Photo courtesy of Jo Ann Ekblad 

“This year, for the first time, the event was underwritten. We are most appreciative of the Jerry C. Dearing Family Foundation for their generous contribution and for donating a table of 10 to enable firefighters to attend the gala,” Babayi said.

The Jerry C. Dearing Family Foundation is a family-run private foundation helping public charitable purposes, principally for support, encouragement and assistance to Houston-based nonprofits. The family is extending contributions to California as per their trustee, Kristin Dearing, who lives in Laguna Beach.

“Another kind donor, George Heed, generously provided a matching donation of $25,000 during the gala when the Fund-A-Need fundraising started. He made this gift in honor of our late friend Norman Powell, who used to provide the same matching gift at our event,” Babayi said.

The Butler family. (L-R) Kim Hannan (Patti’s sister), Brett Butler (son), Patti Butler (sister-in-law), Lisa Butler (daughter). Photo courtesy of Jo Ann Ekblad 

Wilson Automotive Group sponsored an entire table so that seniors who could not afford the cost of the gala could attend.

Event co-chairs were Stephany Skenderian, board vice president, and major donor George Heed. Christine Brewer was the event manager.

“I’m proud of our entire event committee, which included volunteers and Board members. Zack Krone was our auctioneer and helped us raise funds through Fund-A-Need and Live Auction,” Babayi added. “Live Auction items included the firefighter’s dinner, which raised $9,000, purchased by Roya Cole, a generous contributor and a firefighter fan. We are most grateful to our firefighters for supporting our gala year after year.”

The planning has already started for the 2025 Legacy Ball, which will celebrate 50 years of service to the community.

Visit to review the many ongoing programs that Susi Q offers, from ukulele lessons, to standing yoga, to bridge and mahjong classes, not to mention support groups and clubs for special interest groups ranging from genealogy to current affairs to books and so much more. The Susi Q’s Care Management Department (now the Dorene Cares Office) provides free consultation, education and practical resources for vulnerable seniors, enabling them to stay safe, informed, and independent.

Share this:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here