An Evening Under the Oaks: A celebration of arts, children and supporters

Oak Grove Center for Education Treatment and the Arts is gearing up for An Evening Under the Oaks Gala. Now in its 10th year, An Evening Under the Oaks is promising fun and excitement for everyone in attendance. The event is scheduled for April 12 at 5:50 p.m.

“Ten years ago we started this event and every year it’s gotten bigger and better,” said CEO Tammy Wilson. “This year we have the double privilege that we are celebrating the alumni who have gone through the walls and halls of Oak Grove which is really cool and all of our supporters.”

Oak Grove, founded in 1989, has helped over 3,000 children and their families in a nonpublic school setting who have a variety of psychological, emotional, social and behavioral issues and academic problems. Many of their students have gone on to lead successful lives thanks to the center and the programs offered there.

“A lot of our kids have been abused, neglected traumatized so we are dealing with a population of at risk and special needs kids,” Wilson said, noting several alumni will return to Oak Grove for the event. “This is an event that helps provide funding for all the things we do with the kids that goes beyond what reimbursement covers.”

Dinner, a silent auction and a live auction will be held during the event, as well as special recognition of two supporters of the center’s ongoing mission serving children in need.

“We just really appreciate the supporters in the community that make it possible,” said Wilson. “It is because of this group that we were able to build a gym and multipurpose room, art and music room and occupational therapy room.”

Like last year, this year’s gala will be held in the center’s gymnasium.

“Last year is the first year that we were able to actually have the event in the gym, it honestly hadn’t opened yet,” said Wilson. “So this is the second year that we have held the event there and are able to celebrate that. We’re very grateful for that.”

Over the past ten years, money raised at An Evening Under the Oaks has helped to expand programs and services. This year funds will go to help build a larger parking lot at the center and purchase supplies and equipment needed for the center’s programs.

“We’ve expanded and with that there are a lot more families and more staff so additional parking is needed and supplies equipment,” Wilson said. “We are still trying to get computers added in the office and throughout our campus. We will target the children’s fund which is a way that we help some of the kids without families who are placed here through the partners.”

Wilson said there is a lot of excitement about this year’s auction items which include a drum cover autographed by the Rolling Stones, a guitar signed by members of the classic rock band The Eagles and an autographed photo by the cast of AMC’s popular series, Breaking Bad.

Tinsletown memorabilia isn’t the only thing on the auction block at this year’s event. Pacific Floors is donating $5,000 worth of products allowing the lucky winner an opportunity to remodel part of his or her home.

“Pacific flooring is donating $5,000 worth of flooring cabinetry whatever the winner wants to target for their house,” Wilson said. “Thanks to Jared Scarth at Pacific Floors, that is going to be an exciting item.”

Also on tap are performances by X-Factor finalists The Brewer Boys, whose mother was a big supporter of the center.

“When The Brewer Boys made it to the finals of X-factor a few years ago, they were asked what they wanted to do if they won the million dollars and they said they wanted to help build Oak Grove gym and that was their mom’s dream,” Wilson said, noting Elsa Brewer passed away from cancer a month ago at the age of 51.

“That took her much quicker than anyone could have imagined,” she said. “It was very tragic.”

Elsa Brewer will be recognized at the Gala as this year’s winner of the Big Oak Award, a special recognition every year given to an individual that has made a big impact to the children at Oak Grove.

“The thing that is wonderful about Elsa is that her vision is for the arts program to thrive and flourish and she was a huge supporter,” Wilson said. “She will be the Big Oak winner in memoriam, we will have a plaque that is unveiled that is still being designed but that will be a special presentation to the family that evening.”

Murrieta Development Inc. will also be recognized at the event.

Orange County Hit Factory will also perform. The group recorded the popular Dionne Warwick song, “That’s What Friends Are For,” donating all the proceeds to Oak Grove Center.

“You can buy that on iTunes but it’s just really special, too,” said Wilson. “They are going to be coming and performing, not as many artists that recorded it of course but with special celebrity members with the group that we are really looking forward too as well.”

This year’s sponsors include Lexus of Riverside, Pacific Western Bank, Der Manouel Insurance Group and Pechanga Resort & Casino, who donated $25,000 for the construction of the gym. Food will be provided by Rustico Ristorante Pizzaria, Pala Casino Spa and Resort and Sweet Layers just to name a few.

“There are all kinds of options for foods,” said Wilson. “The kids from our performance team will be performing; they are really what it’s all about. There will be amazing desserts and amazing food so it will be a lot of fun.”

For more information, to purchase tickets or become a sponsor, contact Elicia Hopkins at (951) 677-5599 ext 2238 or

[email protected]

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