Phoenix Hotel Hosts 24th Annual Pool Toss to Help the Tenderloin

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Callie Pranger, Matt Regan, Whitney Hudak, Kate Butler, Kate Wallace, John Pellegrini
Callie Pranger, Matt Regan, Whitney Hudak, Kate Butler, Kate Wallace, John Pellegrini

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

The Tenderloin’s biggest fundraiser, the Pool Toss, now in its 24th year, went down last week at the Phoenix Hotel/Chambers Eat + Drink. Hosted by the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), the wet, wacky, and wild evening raised $335,000 to support the impoverished region’s youth and families. The TNDC houses over 3,600 of San Francisco’s lowest-income individuals in the Tenderloin and its nearby neighborhoods. The fun event was chaired by Laura King Pfaff and Jim Losi with hosts Brian Copeland and Nikki Medoro of KGO radio.

David Chiu
David Chiu

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Here’s how the fundraiser works. Local luminaries work with the TNDC’s event team to come up with a fun costume and schtick. This year some of the  tossees dressed up as the Blues Brothers, Superman, Alice in Wonderland, a flamenco dancer, and Miss TNDC. Copeland introduces each tossee and asks the crowd to bid on the chance to throw their friend or colleague into the beautiful pool at the hotel. The night’s top tossees were the Nibbi brothers who raised $35,451 to be thrown in the pool. Bob and Mike Nibbi are the president and vice president of Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, a company that focuses on the Bay’s most challenging, logistically difficult and sustainable projects. Other notables who were pushed into the pool included Sally Carlson, a managing partner at Carlson Beck Recruiting, Assembly member David Chiu, John Epstein, the executive vice president of Wells Fargo Bank, and Whitney Hudak, a member of the Symphonic board and Lyft’s corporate counselor.

Jess Mallari, LaTonya Lawson, Beth Schnitzer, and Karen Shing
Jess Mallari, LaTonya Lawson, Beth Schnitzer, and Karen Shing

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

The Fabulous Bud E. Luv performed a lively show and DJ Pause supplied the upbeat tunes for the night. There was a cool photo booth in a vintage Volkswagen bus and hunky lifeguards from Fitness SF. A handful of local restaurants—Alta CA, Bar San Pancho, Farallon, and Smitten’s Ice Cream to name  few—served delectable bites. The bar poured Peroni beer, Deerfield Ranch wine, and a cocktail called the Smarttini. It was named for last year’s top tossee, Susan Smartt, the executive vice president at Related California Residential. In the past 24 years, the event has raised more than $4 million for TNDC programs like the Tenderloin After-School Program.

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