Temecula Grapevine

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Oak Grove Center honors Pechanga Resort and Casino, Brewer family with Big Oak Award

Crowd of over 400 gathering to celebrate Oak Grove Center's An Evening under the Oaks, 2014 (c) Peter Zaayer

Crowd of over 400 gathering to celebrate Oak Grove Center’s An Evening under the Oaks, 2014 (c) Peter Zaayer

Over four-hundred people gathered at Oak Grove Center to celebrate the tenth Annual ‘An Evening Under the Oaks’ Presented by Lexus of Riverside on Saturday, April 12, netting over $41,000 in funds for the non-profit center.

Outdoor concert during silent auction at Oak Grove Center (c) Tanya Rogers

Outdoor concert during silent auction at Oak Grove Center (c) Tanya Rogers

Proceeds will help expand services for the at-risk and special needs children they serve including enhancing technology, autism services and adding a school library and Arts room.

Oak Grove Center Students perform outdoors at An Evening Under the Oaks (c) Tanya Rogers

Oak Grove Center Students perform outdoors at An Evening Under the Oaks (c) Tanya Rogers

In addition to live and silent auctions and dinner provided by various local eateries, the event included surprise visits by several Oak Grove Center alumni who shared their successes since discharge from the facility.

Tammy Wilson (l.) master of ceremonies for An Evening Under the Oaks, 2014 (c) Tanya Rogers

Tammy Wilson (l.) master of ceremonies for An Evening Under the Oaks, 2014 (c) Tanya Rogers

In addition, awards were presented to Pechanga Resort & Casino and to honor the memory and legacy of Elsa Brewer.

Sponsors, with Tammy Wilson, CEO of Oak Grove Center (c) Tanya Rogers

Sponsors, with Tammy Wilson, CEO of Oak Grove Center (c) Tanya Rogers

According to Tammy Wilson, CEO of Oak Grove Center, the Big Oak Award is usually presented to one individual or business that shows exceptional support for the organization.

A thousand hand folded origami swans led the way to the banquet hall at An Evening Under the Oaks (c) Tanya Rogers

A thousand hand folded origami swans led the way to the banquet hall at An Evening Under the Oaks (c) Tanya Rogers

Though many local sponsors, such as Shamrock Irish Pub and Eatery, aided with the support of this event, two special supporters were honored this year. Oak Grove Center had the distinct honor of presenting two awards.

Aerial view of An Evening under the Oaks celebration (c) Tanya Rogers

Aerial view of An Evening under the Oaks celebration (c) Tanya Rogers

As one of the first supporters of Oak Grove, Pechanga Resort & Casino has also been one of the most consistent.  As the beneficiary of Pechanga’s Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament, the Oak Grove Murrieta Campus moved beyond an outdoor sports court to building a gym, which opened last year. In addition, Pechanga continues to host Oak Grove’s annual golf and Chef Open event, which supports the sports program.

Tammy Wilson presenting Elsa Brewer's award at An Evening Under the Oaks 2014 (c) Peter Zaayer

Tammy Wilson presenting Elsa Brewer’s award at An Evening Under the Oaks 2014 (c) Tanya Rogers

Elsa Brewer, who lost her battle with breast cancer in February, will always be remembered for her love of the arts and her vision for expanding the Oak Grove Arts program. Her leadership provided a role model to others on caring for kids and providing opportunities to heal, grow, explore and change.

Tammy Wilson at an Evening Under the Oaks 2014 (c) Peter Zaayer

Tammy Wilson at an Evening Under the Oaks 2014 (c) Peter Zaayer

Her sons, Justin and Nathan (The Brewer Boys) have grown up supporting Oak Grove and graciously accepted the award on her behalf.

The Brewer Boys perform onstage at An Evening Under the Oaks (c) Peter Zaayer

The Brewer Boys perform onstage at An Evening Under the Oaks (c) Peter Zaayer

“This year’s event was bittersweet,” states Wilson. “As we reflect on the past ten years of ‘An Evening Under the Oaks’, we celebrate the healing of so many of our kids and the growth of our programs. We are thankful for the many businesses and individuals that continue to make this event and our organization a success. However, we are heartsick at the loss of Elsa. We hope to honor her legacy by building the Arts program that she was so passionate about.”

Oak Grove Alumnae onstage with Tammy Wilson, center (c) Tanya Rogers

Oak Grove Alumnae onstage with Tammy Wilson, center (c) Tanya Rogers

For more information about Oak Grove Center and upcoming fundraisers, please visit www.OakGroveCenter.org.

One thousand origami swans, hand folded by students at Oak Grove Center (c) Peter Zaayer

One thousand origami swans, hand folded by students at Oak Grove Center (c) Peter Zaayer

Campus tours are also available by calling (951) 677-5599

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About Ashley Ludwig

Ashley Ludwig is an Editor for Patch News, Orange County and Los Angeles. She is also an inspirational romantic suspense author.

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