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Circle of Hope swings into action

Second annual New Year’s Eve celebration swings to the beat to raise money, awareness and hope

Posted: January 5, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 5, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Circle of Hope Board member Peggy Edwards with COH founder Colleen Shaffer, Event Chair Chris Miller and Treasurer Theresa Stewart at the organization’s New Year’s Eve gala and fundraiser.

Midnight struck in New York just as the crowd raised a glass of champagne and hit the noisemakers in celebration at the second annual Circle of Hope New Year’s Eve Gala at Robinson Ranch in Canyon Country.

Earlier, many of the 200 revelers hit the dance floor to the 18-piece Jimmy McConnell Big Band to raise money in support of the local organization that provides financial and emotional support for men and women diagnosed with breast cancer.

The theme was “The Jazz Age,” which event chairwoman Chris Miller conceived of as a party in the tradition of a 1930s era New York nightclub in full swing.


Party highlights

Outside, Dennis Neice, owner of “The Barnyard” in Acton, showed off his beautiful 1929 Marmon Roosevelt “Straight Eight” road car right out front where guests could have a photo taken before entering the party.

“We came along because this seemed like such a fun place to be on New Year’s Eve,” said Skye Neice, who attended with her mother, Jan Neice, and their family friends, Planning Commissioner Dennis Ostrom and his wife, Susan.

Gorgeous holiday decorations abounded inside the great room. Robinson Ranch provided a hearty buffet to warm up the crowd before they hit the tables to play roulette, craps, and blackjack or just dance the night away.

Circle of Hope board President Judy Penman and Pam Ripling were in charge of the silent auction and the opportunity drawings for many lovely prizes, including a huge selection of sparkling wines.

Angela Capodanno of Visual Spring designed the program, depicting the jazz theme and the table sponsors offered many discounts and coupons for their goods and services.

Among the top event sponsors were Chick Fil-A, Capelli Salon, Jeunesse, Union Bank, John H. Shaffery of Poole & Shaffery, LLP and Tim Ross, Private Mortgage Banker.

The New Year’s Eve event is the organization’s newest fundraiser, which takes place annually alongside the Theatrical Tea, ‘Bras for a Cause,’ ‘Walk for Hope’ and Vine 2 Wine fundraisers.


Expanding in 2012

With its new team of supporters, Executive Director Ray Tippet hopes to further raise money and more awareness of Circle of Hope.

He said they have already expanded the board to 16 and now has 30 people on the advisory board.

“This year, we will have helped about 100 to 125 women,” Tippet said. “We probably given out more than $40,000 in 2011, and are on track to help even more in 2012.”

Tippet pointed out that often times the COH can negotiate high medical co-pays and negotiable fees down from astronomical rates, which helps its clients pay for drugs and treatments.

Their goal for 2012 is to expand the Circle of Hope brand to communities beyond the Santa Clarita Valley and expand its support and outreach programs to more and more women, that’s why Sabina Fetter, owner of Capelli Salon, became a sponsor. She brought along her entire beauty crew to enjoy the jazzy party.

For the past several years, Fetter has contributed gift baskets and donated services to many local charities, and felt the Circle of Hope’s gala was a wonderful event for the holiday.

“Many of my clients receive help from Circle of Hope,” Fetter said, “I have always made sure my focus is to pay it forward.”


Circle of Hope

Circle of Hope Inc. has been assisting breast cancer patients, their families and the community of Santa Clarita Valley since 2004.

The mission of Circle of Hope Inc., a nonprofit charity, is to provide emotional support and financial assistance for medical expenses for uninsured and underinsured individuals with breast cancer who live in, work in, or receive treatment in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Colleen Shaffer created the organization after her own journey when she discovered that breast cancer patients who cannot afford expenses associated with the treatment of breast cancer due to financial hardship were at a serious disadvantage. Circle of Hope provides financial, emotional and educational support for breast cancer patients, their families and the Santa Clarita Valley.

Not everyone who comes to Circle of Hope becomes a client; however, the community, medical professionals, survivors and their families recognize Circle of Hope as an important resource for individuals with breast cancer and others seeking information regarding this disease.

“I think the Circle of Hope is so positive and inspirational,” Chris Miller said. “The challenge is to let more people know what we do so we can help more woman; to that end, we are dedicated to helping more and more women in and outside of the Santa Clarita Valley.”

For more information on Circle of Hope, Inc. call (661) 254-5218 or visit


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