The Irene Dunne Guild co-hosts the 2016 Caritas Gala in partnership with the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation board of trustees, Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills.
The black-tie event will honor Jennifer Beals with the Caritas Award; Allyson Felix with the Hope & Inspiration Award; and Kathleen McCarthy Kostlan, on behalf of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation, with the Spirit of Saint John’s Award. The evening will feature a special performance by singer/songwriter and actress Alisan Porter, recent winner of NBC’s The Voice, Season 10.
“We are honored to celebrate Kathleen and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation,” said Robert O. Klein, president and CEO, Saint John’s Health Center Foundation. “She is a remarkable member of our Foundation family and is selflessly carrying on the legacy of her parents’ commitment to the spirit of philanthropy.”
“The Caritas Gala celebrates those who demonstrate compassion for others through exceptional service to the community,” said Brenda McDonald, president of the Irene Dunne Guild. “Each of our honorees truly exemplify the spirit of caritas and we are extremely grateful for their generosity and many contributions.”
Jennifer Beals is an internationally renowned actress who has been featured in over 50 films and among some of the highest rated television series to date. Currently, she stars in NBC’s medical drama The Night Shift, and can next be seen as the female lead in Taken, NBC’s straight-to-series adaptation of the hit movie franchise. She earned a Golden Globe nomination and won an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress for her role in the iconic film Flashdance, a Canadian Screen Award nomination for her role in A Wife’s Nightmare, a Golden Satellite Award for her role in Twilight of the Golds. Beals recently starred in Manhattan Night, and her latest film project, Before I Fall, will be released theatrically in April 2017. She will executive produce the upcoming dance drama The Edge, recently sold to FOX, teaming up with Kenny Ortega and James Larosa. Beals starred in TNT’s Proof, The Chicago Code and the hit Showtime series The L Word, which aired for six seasons and garnered her two NAACP Image Awards and a Satellite Award nomination. Beals received the Maverick Tribute Award at the Cinequest San Jose Film Festival in 1999. She was presented with the Human Rights Campaign's Ally for Equality Award in 2012 for her support in the LGBT community.
Olympian Allyson Felix has won a total of six Olympic gold medals and is now the most decorated female track & field Olympian in history. Felix grew up in Los Angeles. Her father, Paul, is an ordained minister who was an excellent sprinter as a teen. She inherited her long legs from her school teacher mother, Marlean. Felix attended Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills and accomplished impressive feats over her high school career. She broke Marion Jones’ high-school 200-meter record in April, 2003. Just weeks later, Felix competed in the Banamex Grand Prix in Mexico City and ran a blazing 22.11 200-meter race, which was a new world record in the under-20 category. Felix won three gold medals in the 2012 Olympic Games and followed that up in 2016 with two more gold medals and a silver medal.
Kathleen McCarthy Kostlan serves as chair of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and is a trustee of Saint John’s Heath Center Foundation and the University of Southern California as well as several community and charitable boards. Thomas Leavey co-founded Farmers Insurance in 1928 based on the premise that rural drivers should pay less for insurance because they encountered less risk than their urban-dwelling counterparts. After the insurance company became one of the most successful in the nation, Leavey and his wife Dorothy E. Risley Leavey started the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation in 1952 to share their good fortune with medical, Catholic and educational community institutions they supported. The Leavey Foundation has donated more than $200 million to charitable organizations including Providence Saint John’s Health Center, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.
The Caritas Gala honors individuals who exemplify dedication and commitment to the community and embody the philosophy and mission of Saint John’s. Net proceeds from the gala benefit vital programs and services at the Health Center. Since 1987, the guild has raised more than $13 million and has supported Saint John’s through a wide variety of innovative philanthropic, educational and volunteer programs and services. The guild was named for the late actress Irene Dunne, considered the “First Lady” of Saint John’s.
Past Caritas Gala honorees include Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Martin Sheen, Vin Scully, Robert Wagner, Angela Lansbury, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards, Chris O’Donnell, Tonian Hohberg, Raylene and Bruce Meyer, Merle and Peter Mullin, and Jimmy Stewart.
Individual tickets to the Oct. 22 Caritas Gala are $500 and sponsorship packages are available. For more information, please contact Tess Csiszar at Saint John’s Health Center Foundation at 310-829-8168 or email Tess.Csiszar@stjohns.org.