Inside the Elegant Compass Family Services Spring Benefit

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Katie Traina, Amy G and Sobia Shaikh
Katie Traina, Amy G and Sobia Shaikh

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer

When two of San Francisco’s most stylish and chic woman throw a charity dinner, you know it’s going to be good night. Such was the case last Wednesday night at the Compass Family Services annual spring benefit co-chaired by Katie Traina and Sobia Shaikh. The Bentley Reserve was lit up in a gorgeous shade of fuchsia with a marble-like light pattern displayed on the ceiling. No detail was overlooked and the space was decorated with sophisticated precision. Long rectangular tables ran down the center of the reserve in perfect rows, covered with pretty pink tablecloths. Instead of floral arrangements, blooming magenta orchids planted in white pots with green moss, ran down the center of the tables. Amy Gutierrez, the San Francisco’s Giants sideline reporter, known to most simply as Amy G, was the likable hostess for the evening’s festivities.

 Amy G, Martin Mis and Carolina Gongora
Amy G, Martin Mis, and Carolina Gongora

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer

The event was a fundraiser in honor a very important cause to San Franciscans: the ongoing battle to fight the city’s homelessness. Compass Family Services is one of SF’s most successful and long-lasting nonprofits—it’s been helping families in crisis in the Bay Area for over 100 years. Some of the services that Compass provides? Housing, childcare, healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. The incredible support system helps families locate homes and jobs and places children in schools. A moving video shown at the dinner told the story of a Hispanic couple, Martin Mis and Carolina Gongora, who successfully completed in Compass’s programing 13 years ago. However, in 2015, a terrible fire that raged in the Mission burned their affordable apartment to the ground. The couple was immediately thrust back into homelessness. However, Compass Family Services executive director, Erica Kisch, saw the fire on the news and knew that one of her families was going to be affected by the loss of the building—and she immediately mobilized her team. She moved quickly to find the family motel rooms, clothing, food, and ultimately a new home. Today, almost two years after the fire, the couple have landed back on their feet. They were at the dinner and stood up in front of the crowd to praise the services of Compass and thank the generosity of its donors. 

The Bentley Reserve
The Bentley Reserve

Photo Credit: Susana Bates for Drew Altizer

The exquisite dinner was prepared by Taste Catering and consisted of a composed salad with crispy celery, carrot coins, and globs of creamy delectable burrata. The main course was a succulent roast chicken served alongside rhubarb chutney and toasted farro. For dessert, guests nibbled on a decadent and rich chocolate mousse torte covered in a shiny ganache glaze. Wine flowed freely and dapper gentlemen sipped on gin and tonic’s and Manhattans. As the meal wrapped up, Gutierrez asked the diners to open their pocketbooks and pledge an amount—any number—by text message. She also announced that she had a surprise: she would be auctioning off a pair of Madison Bumgardner’s size 14 tennis shoes—sneakers that he actually wears during several upcoming games, plus five signed copies of her new children’s book, Smarty Marty Steps up Her Game. The goal of the evening was to raise over $120,000 to support Compass. Two oversized flat screens displayed a thermometer with the amount raised and the text messages as they poured in. Guests were delighted to watch the temperature rise as the funds increased with each donation. The goal and then some was achieved and the elegant evening a charitable success. Many of the guests—including Mary Beth Shimmon, Allison Speer, and Dr. Carolyn Chang—attended Charlotte Malin‘s memorial service earlier in the day at Grace Cathedral, so it was a somber day whose charitable focus was a nice reminder of the everyday activities we often take for granted.

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