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19th Annual Gala for the Children Raises More than $1.5M for South Central Youth and Families

APCH youth dancers perform at the 2019 Gala

Johnny Lopez and Damon Wolf, 2019 APCH Gala Honorees

APCH members speak at the 2019 Gala

A Place Called Home honored Johnny Lopez of Platinum Equity and Damon Wolf of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group; Dave Roberts and Joe Drake presented awards

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, November 21, 2019 / -- A Place Called Home (APCH), a nonprofit community center providing a safe, nurturing environment for South Central youth and their families, celebrated 26 years of service during its 19th Annual Gala for the Children at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Nov. 19. More than 800 guests and dignitaries from Los Angeles’s civic, business, entertainment and philanthropic communities gathered to celebrate the organization’s members and alumni and raise critical funds to support its proven programs. This year’s gala raised more than $1.5 million.

During the celebration, APCH honored two extraordinary supporters of the organization’s work. Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers Manager, presented the 2019 Debrah Constance Humanitarian Award to Johnny Lopez, Founding Partner of Platinum Equity. The Debrah Constance Humanitarian Award goes to an individual who has demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to uplifting humanity, and particularly to supporting and empowering young people who are facing great adversity. Mr. Lopez and his family have been part of the APCH family for several years as supporters and volunteers.

Joe Drake, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chairman, presented the 2019 Children’s Inspiration Award to Damon Wolf, President of Worldwide Marketing of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. The Children’s Inspiration Award is presented to an individual whose vision and tenacity are great enough to achieve the “impossible.” The recipient has the courage, optimism and values to be an inspiration to the young people at APCH and beyond. Mr. Wolf is a long-time, enthusiastic supporter of APCH.

Actress and singer Amber Riley of “Glee” fame emceed the event. The celebration also featured performances from the APCH youth dance company and youth band and testimonials from members impacted by APCH’s work.

Beyond shining a spotlight on inspiring individuals who believe in APCH’s work, the gala is the organization’s most important annual fundraiser, consistently raising more than $1 million to support APCH’s mission.

“For 26 years, we have provided an environment of safety, love and opportunity for thousands of kids, parents, staff and volunteers to make their lives better and make the world a better place. We hope the gala moved people to get involved and help us serve more youth and families in need,” APCH Executive Director Jonathan Zeichner said.

Since APCH’s founding one year after the Los Angeles Unrest, the organization has directly served 20,000 South Central youth and families through programs in the arts, civic engagement, education and wellbeing; and thousands more community members via its community festivals and distribution events providing household essentials to families living in poverty.


About A Place Called Home
A Place Called Home (APCH) provides a safe, nurturing environment with proven programs in arts, education, and wellness for the young people in South Central Los Angeles to help them improve their economic conditions and develop healthy, fulfilling and purposeful lives. Since its founding in 1993, APCH has directly served more than 20,000 youth members through its core school day, after school and summer programming, and over 150,000 local residents through family and supportive services including food, clothing, and holiday toy distributions, counseling, voter education, and community organizing. For more information, visit

Taryn Burks
A Place Called Home
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A Place Called Home Celebrates 25 Years of Service