Benefit: Waymakers Raises $125K at ‘Love Grows by Giving’ Fundraiser

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Elsa Greenfield, program director of Waymakers’ Huntington Beach Youth Shelter, Dennis Kuhl, chairman of Angels Baseball and event chair, and Ronnetta Johnson, executive director of Waymakers, during the “Love Grows by Giving” Wine Tasting fundraiser.

Waymakers hosted nearly 450 wine lovers, foodies and humanitarians to help raise over $125,000 to benefit the Waymakers’ Huntington Beach Youth Shelter, a safe haven for homeless, runaway, abused and at-risk youth, during its ninth annual “Love Grows by Giving” wine tasting fundraiser.

Held at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa on Friday, February 22, the event featured wine tastings, beer samplings, live music and tastings from local restaurants.

Newport Beach resident Dennis Kuhl, chairman of Angels Baseball and a longtime supporter of Waymakers, served as event chair.

I asked him how he got involved with Waymakers.

“I have been involved for about five or six years,” he told me. “I got invited to go to the shelter, and once I saw what they were doing there, I kept going back for breakfast. I brought them angels gear. When you donate to Waymakers, you see where your money is going. You can go to the shelter. That is the biggest thing—you can go and see the kids, and they are so excited. It gets to your heartstrings. They need our help. We need to get them in the right environment and stop the cycle. A lot of the kids were sleeping cars, or abused. I ask what the biggest thing is about the shelter, and the kids say to feel safe.”

Kuhl said he’s thankful for the terrific attendance, and hopes people understand that this event does make a difference.

“I go to 20 events a month, and this is one of my favorites,” he said. “The people are off the charts great.”

Featured participants included Jackson Family Wines, Duckhorn, Main Street Wine Company, Cambalache Grill, Watertable at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, BLK and Duke’s Huntington Beach. The event also offered live and silent auctions to raise funds for the Huntington Beach Youth Shelter. Prizes included a stay in a Presidential Suite at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Waymakers’ Huntington Beach Youth Shelter, which since opening its doors 12 years ago has helped over 1,400 homeless, runaway and struggling Orange County youth and their families between ages 11 and 17, most who are trying to cope with issues kids should never face, such as early-childhood trauma.

For more information on Waymakers, visit

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