‘Fifteen Fantastics’ celebrated Women’s Auxiliary honors 15 outstanding philanthropic San Diego women.

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Left to right: Commissioner Bill Luttrell, Tom Hamilton, Carol LeBeau and Commissioner Gwen Luttrell Photo by Jenn Young

By Pamela Lennen

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of San Diego County hosted 850 guests for its annual Women of Dedication recognition and fundraising luncheon, held earlier this year at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel and Marina.

Now in its 46th year, the Women of Dedication is one of San Diego’s longest-running charity events. All proceeds benefit The Salvation Army’s local programs, including the Door of Hope Restoration Project. The luncheon raised over $100,000.

Chris Andrews chaired the 2011 Women of Dedication; Yvonne Larsen co-chaired. Patty Moises is San Diego County Women’s Auxiliary president.

The event honored 15 women—known as the Fifteen Fantastics—for their philanthropic work in the San Diego community. The agenda included live and silent auctions, gift boutiques and a “Heart Tug.”

Commissioner Carolyn Knaggs gave the invocation and opened the luncheon with prayer. Sierra del Mar Divisional Leaders Commissioners Bill and Gwen Luttrell welcomed each woman, acknowledging her deeds with a personalized gift. The San Diego Master Chorale provided music.

Heart Tug speaker Pam Stickler, a former resident at the San Diego Door of Hope, shared her story of being pregnant and unmarried many years ago when she came to the Door of Hope. The home provided a safe place for her and her baby. While there Stickler said she received guidance and understanding, as well coming to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Brigadier Betty Whiteside greeted Stickler as she left the stage. Whiteside had been an officer at the facility when Stickler was there and made the trip from Oxnard, Calif., to be reunited with her.

Local emcee and news anchor Pat Brown announced each of the 15 honorees. Bryan Verhoye sang a personalized song for each one, describing the cause closest to her heart.


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