2014 Gala of Stars - Bright Hope
The 2014 Gala of Stars was held Saturday, May 10, 2014
2014 Servant Leadership Award
This special award is presented to someone who has demonstrated long-standing commitment to their faith, to their work, and to the greater Orange County community; someone who puts the needs of others first and leads by serving; someone whose work and activities have had a significant positive effect on the lives of others; and someone who shares Concordia University's commitment to Christ's Great Commission.
The Gala committee unanimously selected Ruth DeNault as the recipient of the 2014 Servant Leadership Award. Since 1985, Ruth has served as a trustee of the Concordia University Foundation and has served faithfully in a number of roles, all of which are dedicated to serving students as they pursue their education. Under Ruth's leadership, the Friends of Concordia University volunteer organization sponsored a number of projects which raised over $1,000,000 for student scholarships.
Ruth and her late husband Jim began DeNault's Hardware in 1956 in San Clemente and the family now has a seven-store chain serving South Orange County and North San Diego County. In addition to her many roles with Concordia University, Ruth also serves on the boards of Jamestown College, North Dakota; Casa Romantica Cultural Center in San Clemente; and the Museum of Architectures in San Juan Capistrano.
We are pleased to announce that Neil and June Ash of Rancho Santa Fe are serving as this year's Honorary Co-Chairs.
Neil has served as chair of the Board of Regents at Concordia University Irvine and donated the beautiful Casavant pipe organ in the Concordia University Center for Worship and the Performing Arts. The new USO Neil Ash Airport Center in San Diego was named for Neil, a dedicated supporter of San Diego's military community.
June Ash has been honored by numerous organizations in the San Diego area for her long career of service to such groups as the American Cancer Society, the Social Service League of La Jolla, the La Jolla Opera League and Historical Society, just to name a few. The Women's International Center presented June with the International Philanthropy Award to a real humanitarian and friend to many.
Special thanks to this dedicated couple for their service to this year's Gala that will benefit students for years and years to come.
Student Music Finale
The evening's festivities concluded with uplifting and inspirational music by Concordia's talented students and alumni, under the direction of Steve Young.
Event Benefits the Student Scholarship Fund
The 12th annual Gala of Stars was held in Concordia University's Arena, transformed into a beautiful black-tie venue. Last year's full house of almost 500 guests raised more than $550,000 for student scholarships. Highlighting the evening was a video showing the Lifetime Achievement Award presentation by President Kurt Krueger to Mr. Bart Starr of the legendary Green Bay Packers.