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2019 Desert Gala

Desert Above & Beyond Awards Gala

Angel Light Academy’s Leadership Training Institute will be honoring local citizens who have proven excellence in community leadership and service. This event was established in 2009 as a grass roots recognition program for the “doers” of our local communities. Each of the honorees has demonstrated they consistently go above and beyond and are nominated by their peers for this prestigious award. This event is an amazing forum to view the works of our honorees who represent fabulous organizations, institutions, and corporations.

10th Annual Above & Beyond Awards Gala

January 26th, 2019
Indian Wells Golf Resort – Pavilion

5:00 pm Cocktail Reception & Silent Auction

6:00 pm Awards Dinner

2019 Honorees

Robert Berens, Red Hot Ballroom

Annette Garcia & Dave DiMeno, CV Horse Rescue

Victory Grund, Old Town Artisan Studios

Paul Hoffman

Elaine Holmes

Rosa Lucas, CV Volunteers in Medicine

Farah Meadows

Jerry Moe, Betty Ford Children’s Center

Shay Moraga

Margit Chiriaco Rusche

Above & Beyond Alumni


Susana Chandi

Tanya Moreno

Richard Balacco, Desert Arc

George and Nancy Huntington

Margot Nelligan

Dr. Eric Davenport

DeAnn Lubell-Ames

Dr. Murray Brandstater

Sean Roberts & Gina Garside, Pendleton Foundation

Dr. Tamela Martin

Michelle Bergeron, Animal Samaritans


Julia Wilmot, Lifetime Achievement Award

David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project

Maureen Forman, Jewish Family Service of the Desert

Andrea Carter

Congressman Paul Cook

Suz Hunt

Roberta Klein, Read With Me Program

Cameron Moulton, Christopher’s Clubhouse

Selby Dunham, Bighorn Behind A Miracle

Katie Slimko-Stice, Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce

Sheriff Stan Sniff

Suzanne Armstrong


General Richard Wilmot, Lifetime Achievement Award

Sandy Smith, Copper Mountain College Foundation

Ruth Moir, Steinway Society of Riverside County

Jo Rosen, Parkinson’s Resource Organization

Richard DeSantis, Event Management Productions

Peggy Sue Lane

Toni Callicot

Dustin Smith, The First Tee of the Coachella Valley

Dr. Prem Salhotra

Robin Montgomery, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding – All Special Needs, All Ages

Erica Stone, Soldiers Organized Services

Kathy Greco & Donna Craig, Desert Healthcare District and Desert Healthcare Foundation


Susan Francis, Ophelia Project

Lisa Houston, FIND Food Bank

Richard Twiss, Chief of Police, Indio Police Dept.

Walt & Judy Van Benthuysen, American Friends of Our Armed Forces

Don Nydam, Totally Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Craig Gahnz-Kuhar, Vocal Music Director, PDHS & PDCMS

Senator Jeff Stone

Mike Chedester, Living Desert Educational Programs

Dr. Stephen Steele

Cindy Melland, Basin Wide Foundation



Owen and Audrey Gillick

Rev. Dr. Tahlib McMicheaux

Paul Morway

Andrea Aranda

Mike Hestrin

Patrick Evans

Lynn Moriarty

Brenda Ayon Verduzco


Richard Waxman, “Scruffy” “Paws and Hearts” Animal Assisted

Arthur D’Souza

Lindalee Allison

Jan Peters

Cirenia Guerrero

Gigi C. Muth

Tim Cote

Robyn Madala


Isabel Megli

Randall Miller

Maria Serrano

Mika Moulton

Lynda Lake

Jennie Kelly

Brooke Beare

Caleb Gervin

Pauline Hennessey


Melanie Fesmire

Scott Trujillo

Colleen Johnson

Martha & Abraham Aguilar Family

Nachhattar S. Chandi

Jackie Lee Houston

Robert Craven

Melinda Wallace


Dylan O’Brien

Veda Brooks

Solomon Worlds

Vanessa Castro

Troy Compton

Rafael Luna

Linda Aguilar

Erika Baily

Denise Muller

Bob Reinhagen