Tocqueville Society members enjoyed a lovely May evening in the beautiful Palisades Highlands home of longtime Tocqueville Society member and former United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA) board member Rod Hagenbuch. The annual event recognizes Tocqueville Society members and provides an opportunity to connect. PwC once again was awarded the trophy for most dollars raised by Tocqueville Society members between the “Big Four.” Brian Cullinan accepted the honor. Honorees Gretchen and Bruce Willison were thanked for their many years of vision, commitment and generosity.

Bruce Willison has been a long-time contributor and volunteer leader with UWGLA. He has served as Tocqueville Society Cabinet Chair, on the United Way Board of Directors. He has shared his leadership contributions as the former Dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management and continues to support United Way at the highest levels. Gretchen Willison is a member of the Founding Council of the United Way Women’s Summit, and, she too, serves as a philanthropic leader in the community.

High school student Karen Calderon from UWGLA’s Young Civic Leaders Program shared her empowering story of resilience and tenacity in pursuit of college and her career dreams.

A shout out goes to our speakers, Michael Hausknost, Mark Hutchins and Paul Weiss. Thanks to all of our Tocqueville Society members, Cabinet members, Board Members and, of course, our Million Dollar Roundtable contributors for making the evening a resounding success! See all the photos from the event here: {take out far away shots and many unengaged table shots}

Did you know, since the Gala, youth like Karen Calderon in our Young Civic Leaders Program partnered with UWGLA’s Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS) coalition, representing 70 partners, and helped put forth a Close the Gap resolution which was voted in unanimously June 12 by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board so all students are college and career ready. Want to learn more? Watch UWGLA’s informative June education webinar here.

Or perhaps did you know? Tocqueville Gala entertainment was provided by L.A.C.E.R Afterschool Programs. Partially funded by UWGLA, this organization provides free classes in the arts, athletics, and academics every day after school, to more than 4,000 underserved middle and high school students in Los Angeles. L.A.C.E.R. is creating opportunities, building academic skills, and preparing students for their future. $25,000 provides a full year of music instruction for 25 students in L.A.C.E.R.'s "Rock Band Workshop" with two teaching artists, all the musical instruments needed, and a Spring Concert at THE GRAMMY Museum.

$10,000 funds final sports tournaments (travel, referees, time-keeper and food) for over 400 girls and boys in middle school athletic programs.

$1,000 provides supplies up to 15 middle school students with fresh and healthy ingredients for L.A.C.E.R.'s very popular "Snack Attack" after-school cooking class, for an entire school year! $500 provides transport for 20 students in the arts, athletics or academic programs to go on a field trip and explore a local museum, park, theatre, baseball game, or the beach.

Donate to United Way of Greater Los Angeles to be able to fund programs to end poverty such as L.A.C.E.R.