The Academic Angels of the College of the Desert Foundation honored three graduates of its three-tiered program during its awards luncheon at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa.
Before entering the ballroom, committee members individually escorted attendees on a "tour" of where the money goes. Funds raised go directly to three areas: financial, academic, and job placement.
Financial support pays for textbooks, childcare, tech labs and software and transportation. Academic support pays for free remedial math and English three-week intensives. Job placement pays for a one-stop support center that offers internships, on campus jobs, and job placement service.
Three graduates who benefited from each of these areas spoke during the luncheon. Aptly named "Citizens of Distinction," the honorees and categories were COD Patron Citizen Harold Matzner, COD Inspirational Citizens Diane and Hal Gershowitz; COD Community Citizen and past Academic Angels president Donna Jean Darby and COD Rising Star of Distinction and Desert Publications' Integrated Marketing Director Paulina Larson.
KMIR News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Jeffries served as Mistress of Ceremonies. COD President Joel Kinnamon welcomed everyone, followed by Academic Angels president Jan Harnik.
The "You Can Change Lives" fundraising campaign was impeccably woven throughout the event chaired by Mary E. Latta, aided by a large committee including Marge Barry, Mary Ellen Blanton, Cynthia Cottrell, Diane Denkler, Roberta Duke, Erica Espinola, Eileen Hall, Susan Whitman Linsk, Monte Marts, Terri Newman, Linda Rider, Sally Simonds, Jane Treacy and CJ Westrick-Bomar.
College of the Desert
43-500 Monterey Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260
Photography by Lani Garfield and Marc Glassman