sunset sip 2017 blog - feature image

Last Saturday, we invited the community to nurture their inner child at Hotel Maya, and what fun we had doing just that! Words fail to express just how grateful we are for the outpouring of support we received from the community at Sunset Sip 2017.

230 friends of The Guidance Center attended to support our mission, raising more than $135,000. This annual fundraising event is very important to our agency as funds raised allow us to provide much-needed mental health services to the community.


It was honor to have both Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, PhD and Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna help us kick off the night’s festivities. We’re so grateful to have such passionate mental health advocates leading our city! We were touched by their words of gratitude for our work leading children and families toward positive and productive futures, and inspired by their determination to create a community where everyone has a chance to thrive.

Jenga collage

With the Long Beach skyline twinkling in the background, guests were invited to “nurture their inner child” and experience the healing power of play through various immersive play therapy experiences. While enjoying unlimited wine tastings and bidding on silent auction items, guests had the opportunity to participate in play therapy exhibits hosted by The Guidance Center therapists: Exploring Emotions Jenga, Dress-Up Photo Booth, and Sand Tray.

SS17 program collage

Then during the program, Nathan Swaringen, LCSW, clinical therapist at The Guidance Center and developer of It’s About T.I.M.E. (Trauma-Informed Movement in Education) program, shared how important play is for all ages and invited guests to continue to nurture their inner child at their tables by bringing to life figurines they selected before sitting down.



The true star of the evening was 10-year-old former client of The Guidance Center, Mia, who during the program shared the story of her journey to positive mental health. Through treatment at The Guidance Center and support from her mother and school, Mia is no longer consumed by anxiety, and is now dreaming big dreams for her future while advocating for her friends’ mental health at school, too.

Make sure to check out our Sunset Sip Digital Tribute Book 2017 for more event highlights, photos, sponsor messages, and more! Head over to our Facebook page to see the full album of photos from the night and don’t forget to like, comment, and share.

Thank you all for making Sunset Sip 2017 a night to remember.

Cheers to many more!