Oak Grove Center honors local business and individual with Big Oak Award

MURRIETA – Four hundred people gathered at Oak Grove Center to celebrate the 10th 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.

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.

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.

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

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. This year, Oak Grove Center had the distinct honor of presenting two awards.

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.

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

“This year’s event was bittersweet,” said 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.”

For more information about Oak Grove Center and upcoming fundraisers, visit 

www.OakGroveCenter.org. Campus tours are also available by calling (951) 677-5599. 

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