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Walnut Creek Magazine

Party On: DRAA's On Broadway Gala Raises Over A Quarter of Million Dollars For The Arts

Oct 25, 2022 05:14PM ● By Photography by Ben Krantz

On October 2, leaders in the arts and civic communities came together in downtown Walnut Creek for a smashing evening of fine dining, exciting entertainment, specialty libations, and a rousing live auction. Co-chaired by Catharine Baker and Bob Power, this year’s edition of Diablo Regional Arts Association’s (DRAA) annual On Broadway gala brought in over $250,000 to support programming at the Lesher Center for the Arts. (LCA)

DRAA Board President David Julius, PhD, Professor UCSF (and recent Nobel Prize recipient), and DRAA Executive Director Peggy White welcomed guests to the sounds of Phat Strad, America’s original female rock electric string quartet. Presented in partnership with showstopping corporate sponsors Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, Miller Starr Regalia, JP Morgan Chase, ParkSmart, and the Lesher Foundation, gala-goers tucked into tables on the outdoor Rudney Plaza where a seasonal feast by Dan Ripley Catering paired with California wines and cocktails was served.

The effervescent Renée Lubin, “resident diva” at Beach Blanket Babylon for over 33 years, took center stage performing Nat King Cole’s “Route 66” and Etta James’ “At Last” to exuberant applause. A thrilling live auction followed with a private dinner for twelve by Executive Chef Stewart Beatty of Postino at a private home on Save Mount Diablo's sprawling Curry Canyon Ranch bringing in $20,000. A coveted photo op with actor Henry Winkler was another bidding hit, before the party continued on the dance floor.

A nationally recognized presenter of great art and artists, as well as a dynamic arts education programs for youth, Diablo Regional Arts Association is the nonprofit partner of the Lesher Center for the Arts. 

Gary Hardman, Laura and Eric Rudney, Patrick Gutierrez


DRAA Board Member Spalding Ashley with her son, Bennett Ashley


Walnut Creek City Councilmember Cindy Darling, DRAA Executive Director Peggy White, Mackenzie Lesher, and Angie Coffee 


Dan Baker, DRAA Board Member and On Broadway Gala Co-Chair Catharine Baker, Walnut Creek City Councilmember Kevin Wilk, and Jill Wilk. 


Ernie Monenari and Danville Councilmember Renee Morgan with their guests


Peggy White, new DRAA Board President David Julius, Walnut Creek City Council member Loella Haskew, and Holly Ingraham


Dinner service by Dan Riply Catering on the outdoor Rudney Plaza of the Lesher Center


DRAA Board Member and On Broadway Gala Co-Chair Bob Power of ParkSmart, Inc.


Headliner artist, Renée Lubin with Andrew Higgins on bass and Dee Spencer on keyboard. 


Hugo Dominguez, Brenda Martinez, DRAA Communications Director Elizabeth Orcutt, and Mark Orcutt


Ellen Osmundson, Donna Labriola, Bruce and Jill Dresser


Ed and Denise Del Becarro, Bob Linscheid and Pam Montana


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