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PEERS Network’s 5th Annual Black Tie Gala a Success

Posted on | October 16, 2013 | Comments Off on PEERS Network’s 5th Annual Black Tie Gala a Success

PEERS Network’s 5th Annual Black Tie Gala Raises $335,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation


PEERS Network Board Members Brian Nuggent, Martin J. Waters, Trevor Callan, Giuseppe Ciuffa, Jawad Bisharat with CAF athlete Brianne (Breezy) Bochenek. (Photo: Business Wire)

On Saturday, September 28, the PEERS Network 5th Annual Black Tie Gala welcomed a sold-out crowd to raise $335,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a San Diego-based non-profit whose mission is to provide individuals with permanent physical disabilities the support they need to get active and involved in sports. The gala, which was held at the private La Jolla Farms home of Steven and Lisa Altman, was hosted by the PEERS Network, a group of San Diego entrepreneurs whose mission is to give back to the local community.

“We are proud to host what has become known as ‘the social event of the year’ to bring together the top influencers of San Diego in support of impactful local organizations,” said Guiseppe Ciuffa, PEERS Network board member and event co-chair. “The Challenged Athletes Foundation helps thousands of individuals each year, locally and around the world, to succeed in sports – and in life. It is an honor to do our part to support their mission.”

More than 430 attendees supported the formal affair which honored Dr. David Smotrich, founder of La Jolla IVF, and welcomed professional athletes and VIPs like Bill Walton, Tony Hawk and John Carney. The evening begn with a special VIP reception where attendees were adorned in fine jewelry and watches from K. Brunini. Guests enjoyed cutting-edge gourmet cuisine from chefs like Giuseppe Fine Catering, Beaumont Eatery and CUSP at more than a dozen gourmet food stations with treats from PURE Cupcakes.

The money raised at the 5th Annual PEERS Network Black Tie Gala will provide funding for expensive adaptive equipment (like running prosthetics and handcycles), training and competition expenses to help overcome the financial barriers that often keep challenged athletes on the sidelines. “We’re tremendously grateful to the PEERS Network for selecting CAF as the benefiting charity of this fabulous fundraising event,” said Virginia Tinley, Executive Director of the Challenged Athletes Foundation. “As a charity started right here in San Diego that is now celebrating its 20th anniversary, it is wonderful to see the local community come together to celebrate the challenged athletes we support.”

Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is a world leader in helping individuals with physical challenges get involved – and stay involved – in sports. CAF believes that participation in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $40 million has been raised and almost 6,000 funding requests from challenged athletes in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts reach another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles every opportunity to compete in the sports they love. To learn more, log on to or call 858-866-0959.

About PEERS Network
The PEERS (Philanthropy, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Relationships, Social) Network is a professional not-for-profit group founded by San Diego entrepreneurs whose aim is to give back to the community by helping enhance and improve philanthropic pursuits while providing a network to encourage entrepreneurism. For more information, please visit:


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