We put a call out to all local superheroes for Sunset Sip 2018, and what an incredible showing of superpowers we received last Saturday. We’re so incredibly grateful!

More than 200 superheroes flocked to Hotel Maya, raised more than $170,000, exceeding funds raised in previous years. Sponsors and guests’ generous support at our annual benefit ensures that we will continue to provide critical mental health services to our community’s disadvantaged children and families.

The night kicked off with inspiring words from Eric Adler, Esq., our Board Chair; Tim Sailor, Event Committee Chair; and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, EdD.

“In Long Beach, we’re very grateful for [attendees’] supporting such an important part of our community,” said Mayor Garcia at the event Saturday night. “If it wasn’t for The Guidance Center, we would have so many young people without an important place to turn, without a mentor, and certainly without the care that they need to be their very best selves.”

As the sun set over the ocean, guests were invited to “unleash their superpowers” and “be the hero of their own story” through various immersive play therapy experiences. While enjoying unlimited wine tastings and bidding on fun silent auction items (this year featured items like Comic Con San Diego tickets and a giant toy horse complete with a Batman cape!), guests had the opportunity to participate in play therapy exhibits hosted by The Guidance Center therapists: Superhero-themed Mask Making, Dress-Up Photo Booth, and Chutes and Ladders.

After the cocktail and silent auction portion of the evening, guests strolled into the nearby pavilion for a delectable dinner crafted by Hotel Maya’s award winning chefs. Paddles were then raised to compete over exciting live auction items, like exotic getaways and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Once all the live auction items were claimed, the true stars of the night, 12-year-old and 8-year-old siblings and former clients of The Guidance Center, Saniya and Christopher, Jr., took the stage and inspired guests with their stories of overcoming challenges, like bullying, and gaining the skills to maintain positive mental health with help from The Guidance Center.

“The way therapy helped me was improving on my blind spots: wanting to fit in, feeling insecure, feeling imperfect and thinking that I was a bad kid,” said Saniya. “It changed my mind set…In sessions, my therapist helped me out in ways no other therapist could. She helped me because I felt connected, and she made me feel like she cared. She was understanding.”

Make sure to check out our Sunset Sip Digital Tribute Book 2018 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 2018 a SUPER night.
Cheers to many more!