Alzheimer’s Orange County Gala Goes Virtual

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Alzheimer’s Orange County gala logo

They say timing is everything, but in the case of the Alzheimer’s Orange County annual Gala, the timing this year was a little off.

Every year, Alzheimer’s Orange County – a local nonprofit organization that provides services and support to individuals living with dementia and their family and loved ones – hosts a spectacular themed gala with dazzling décor and live entertainment.

The group’s 2020 Gala was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 21 at the Balboa Bay Resort. That was the week that everything shut down due to the coronavirus, and the gala had to be postponed.

Technology to the rescue. Like so many charitable organizations this year, the Alzheimer’s Orange County gala is going virtual and will be held this Saturday, August 22. Titled “Celebrating the Future, Take 2,” the virtual event will be live streamed on multiple platforms, including the Alzheimer’s Orange County website.

Alzheimer’s Orange County CEO Jim McAleer and Angels’ Baseball Chairman Dennis Kuhl of Newport Beach, at the 2019 AlzOC gala

According to a press release from Alzheimer’s Orange County, the preshow will begin at 5 p.m. with the program starting at 6 p.m. There will be virtual silent and live auctions.

Guests can join the event in several ways. Single tickets or virtual tables were available that included a catered meal delivered prior to the gala, but those are sold out.

However, the gala is free to watch, and anyone can register to bid ln the auction items.

For more information about the Gala, and to register to watch and bid, please visit and

The event co-chairs are Debi Pavlik of Laguna Beach and Alison Hoeven of Newport Beach.

Members of the 2020 Gala Committee include Analisa Albert, Lia Iacocca Assad, Leriza Bacchus, Catherine Beaumont, Emily Bennett, Maria Dumatol, Jacqueline Dupont-Carlson, Phd, Massy Farzine, Christina Jenkins, Diane Mondini, Cathy Frandsen Morrison, Lourdes Nark, Urvashi Patel, Wendy Peloso, Bill Peters, Mary Phillips, Cyd Swerdlow, Wendy Tenebaum, Madonna Waszak and Linda Young.

Honorees at the gala this year include:

Marty Burbank, JD, LLM, is an expert in estate planning and elder law featured in Forbes, and recognized by the Orange County Register as one of the 100 most influential people in Orange County. He frequently speaks about seniors, our military veterans, their benefits, and the legal issues related to their care and quality of life. Marty has appeared on The Meredith Vieira Show and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. He is a teacher and author for the National Business Institute, Southern California Institute, and Alzheimer’s Orange County. Marty is an adjunct professor at California State University, Fullerton.

Diane Montgomery, who became involved with AlzOC about nine years ago because the disease is prominent in her family on her mother’s side. After her husband’s untimely death, she sought a reason to live, and decided to become a volunteer for many organizations, including AlzOC that she says is closest to her heart.

Melvin Benner, who was inspired to join AlzOC in 2009 after his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and he was supporting his mom as caregiver. Mel has served on the organization’s full board, executive board, and the advisory board. During Mel’s tenure with AlzOC, he also served as Chairman of the Audit Committee, and on various other committees.

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