The Great Gala “Illumination & Inspiration” Fundraiser
The Natlie A. Cole-Reagins Education and Cancer Research Foundation held its inaugural annual “Illumination and Inspiration” gala on April 26, 2014. For the event, the grand ball room of the Downtown Riverside Marriott was transformed into a “Roaring 20’s” themed banquet hall for a “SOLD OUT” guest list of more than 300, many donning 1920’s period attire. Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey socialized during the pre-gala reception and endorsed a proclamation on the behalf of the citizens of Riverside. Attendees also included guests from throughout Southern California and as far away as Colorado and Texas.
During the 2.5 hour event the audience was serenaded by the powerful and sultry vocals of Jackisimone of Los Angeles, CA, and taken back to the days of prohibition by the instrumental entertainment of the four-piece Jimmie Dykes Band.
The Foundation’s expert guest speakers engaged the audience with compelling information, anecdotal stories, and data that supports the group’s mission; advancing early childhood literacy education and promoting the research of Sino Nasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma (SNUC) and its effects. The speakers were authorities in their respective fields of study and included: Dr. Susan Rainey, President of United Way, Riverside County Office of Education Trustee, and former Riverside Unified School District Superintendent, Renee Hill, Assistance Superintendent RUSD, Jose Medina, CA Assemblymember, Dr. Ryan Osborne, President of Osborne Head/Neck Institute, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Beverly Hills, CA, and Dr. Peter Hwang, Chief of Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull base Surgery, Stanford University Medical Center.
Natlie’s sons, Gared and Gavin Reagins served as brilliant masters of ceremony and kept the program on track and interesting sharing relevant stories of their mother. Throughout the program four mini documentary videos introduced Natlie, her poignant journey, and the inception and purpose of the Foundation.
A highlight of the evening came in the form of $60,000.00 in pledge-donations the Foundation trustees presented to its charitable beneficiaries: The Riverside Education Enrichment Foundation (REEF), Stanford University School of Medicine, and the Osborne Head and Neck Institute Foundation.
The evening’s festivities concluded with an invitation for guests to become “Six-Month Pledge Partners” by committing specific financial donations over a six month period.
The Natlie A. Cole-Reagins Education and Cancer Research Foundation “Illumination and Inspiration” gala is sure to be as festive and celebratory next year given the theme for 2015: MASQUERADE!
Natlie A. Cole-Reagins grew up in Riverside and graduated from Poly High School in 1983. In 1987, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California in Riverside and in 2002 earned a Master of Arts from California State University, San Bernardino. Natlie taught elementary school in Riverside Unified School District for sixteen years.
In the fall of 2006, Natlie A. Cole-Reagins was diagnosed with Sino-Nasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma (SNUC). After seven months of aggressive treatments and a courageous fight, Natlie’s body surrendered to this rare and aggressive cancer and she died at the age of 42 on June 8, 2007.
The Natlie A. Cole-Reagins Education and Cancer Research Foundation, is a non-profit and tax exempt organization. The core mission of the foundation is promoting early childhood literacy and actively raising awareness and supporting the research of Sino Nasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma (SNUC).