The Natlie A. Cole-Reagins Education and Cancer Research Foundation held its inaugural annual “Illumination and Inspiration” gala on April 18, 2015. The Masquerade themed gala at the Riverside Convention Center was home for the evening for nearly 350 guest donning masks of every imaginable design to join in an evening of stewardship, information, and pageantry. Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey was a guest for the evening and provided an exuberant opening greeting on behalf of the citizens of Riverside. Attendees also included guests from throughout Southern California and as far away as Maryland, Mississippi, Colorado, and Texas.

During the 2.5 hour event the audience was mesmerized by the music of Riverside’s saxophonist, J. Boykin, serenaded by the powerful and sultry vocals of Jackisimone of Los Angeles, CA, and captivated by the instrumental entertainment of the Jimmie Dykes Quartet.

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. Guest speakers were authorities in their respective fields of study and included: Patricia Lock-Dawson, Trustee of the Riverside Unified School District, Dr. Dave Hansen, Riverside Unified School District Superintendent, Scott Brennan, Teacher – Bryant Elementary School of Arts and Innovation, Dr. Daniel Beswick, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Stanford University Medical Center.

Natlie’s son, Gared served as a brilliant master of ceremonies and kept the program on track and interesting with relevant stories of his mother. Throughout the program four mini documentary videos introduced Natlie, her poignant journey, and the inception and purpose of the Foundation.

The Foundation’s charitable beneficiaries; The Riverside Education Enrichment Foundation (REEF), Stanford University School of Medicine, and the Osborne Head and Neck Institute Foundation were on hand for the evening and shared accomplishments due to and benefits of the charitable contributions of the Natlie A. Cole-Reagins Education and Cancer Research Foundation.

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). For more information visit the foundation’s website:

www.natliefoundation.org