When one thinks of Orange County California, they strike up images of palm trees, upper middle class neighborhoods and beautiful beaches. While that is what makes the area coveted for locals and tourists alike, what many don’t know is that there is a massive homeless population living in drainage ditches, parks and the beaches throughout the county.
Just a few hundred yards from Anaheim stadium, over 5000 people have built a shanty town out of tarps and tents. The most staggering statistic is that there are over 35,000 homeless children living on the streets each day, often times just yards from million dollar homes and businesses.
That staggering numbers of the homeless hit home for Paul Leon, CEO & Founder of the Illumination Foundation, a grassroots non-profit organization whose mission is to break the cycle of homelessness. He knew that if more people knew about the situation, they would want to help the people in need in their own backyard. One of the many events the Foundation hosts is the “Art of Design” event, hosted at the Coldwell Banker Atrium in Newport Beach, which partners up with Luxe Magazine and local designers to create one-of-a-kind chairs that are auctioned off for the charity.
“The custom riser display that IndoTeak Design created for my Octo-Ottoman…I have one word. LOVE!”
IndoTeak Design was approached by the publisher of Luxe Magazine, Shannon Ratcliffe, to create the pedestals on which the chairs would be displayed at the gala. After hearing about the cause, IndoTeak owner, Frank Ragen, signed up immediately. “To have the ability to give back and help a good cause is something we value at IndoTeak Design and to be associated with such a talented group of designers is truly an honor for us,” said Ragen.
We created 12 original platforms using our reclaimed teak engineered flooring in all different shapes, textures and finishes. Our crew shut down the warehouse for 4 days to focus on the project and to get our displays looking tip-top for the event. Only after we delivered the risers on the day of the gala did we get to see the beautiful works of art that would be resting on our floors.
“I wanted to thank you and the team of Indoteak Design for your time, your talent and your efforts towards making The Art of Design a huge success. Not only is your product gorgeous, but the choices and selections offered to our designers was really wonderful. We love our partnership with Indoteak and we look forward to many more successful events and partnerships with you.”
-Shannon Ratcliffe, Luxe Magazine.
The list of designers was impressive to say the least, Craig Cady, Jess Jones, Huma Sulaiman and Kenn Gray were among the talent who created an impressive entry for auction. As the evening progressed, Paul Leon took the stage to explain what the Illumination Foundation was all about and why the event means so much. After that the donations and auctions got rolling. Designers approached the microphone to explain their pieces and what inspired the designs.
As guests enjoyed great music, some of the best food in Orange County and a silent auction with some incredible donations, the designers spoke about about what the event means to them. Huma Sulaiman said of her piece “To have my chair be auctioned off for such a great cause, it’s a great thing. I couldn’t be happier to included in this event.”
All of the chairs sold at auction and even one designer, Carly, of Carly & Co, bought her own chair because she just couldn’t part with it. The crowd cheered as she donated $2000 on top of her time already invested in the project. That was the real meaning of the night anyway want it? Not the fashion or the outfits, the food or the dancing. It was good people coming together to help the children and homeless people that need our help. To see the diverse crowd embrace a common cause, especially in these hectic times, was a thing of beauty to behold.
To learn more about the Illumination Foundation Please visit their website: ifhomeless.org
All Photos Courtesy of Luxe Magazine