Fresh Start Gala 2019

text and photos courtesy of Fresh Start Women’s Foundation

Above: Attendees crowd the dance floor. Fresh Start Gala, 2018.

The 23rd annual Fresh Start Gala, presented by Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and US Trust, will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at The Phoenician Resort. This year’s event will be chaired by Phoenix native Andrea Katsenes, who is a member of the Fresh Start Board of Directors and Director of Media Relations for Cox Communications.

“I am honored to be chairing the Fresh Start Gala 2019.” said Andrea Katsenes. “I am humbled to be a small part in raising awareness and funds that support thousands of women with vital services. So many of these women are the head of their families, so when we lift them, we lift a whole family, which positively impacts our community!”

Above left: Andrea Katsenes. Above right: Cindy Watts.

The Gala is Fresh Start’s largest annual fundraising event and raises critical funds to support programs and services at the Jewell McFarland Lewis Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center, a facility that has been supporting thousands of women and their families since opening its doors in 2002, and last year welcomed more than 25,000 visit.

Gala attendees will be treated to a cocktail reception featuring a dramatic fashion presentation from Neiman Marcus, a gourmet dinner, incredible live entertainment, dancing and many other surprises sprinkled throughout this special evening. 

Above: left to right; Jan Lewis, Jacquie Dorrance and Pat Petznick. Fresh Start Gala, 2018.
This year’s Founders’ Award will be presented to Cindy Watts. A lifelong Phoenician, Watts will be honored for her inspirational community leadership. The Watts Family has a long history of giving significantly to the Phoenix community. “Cindy, demonstrates daily what a strong, resilient woman can accomplish in our community, and continues the long history of awesome women who have received this coveted award,” said Susan Berman, President and CEO of Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.
Above: The check presentation from Ocean 44 to Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. Pictured left to right; Cathy Kleeman, Susan Berman, Oliver Badgio and Amy Videan.

A kick-off dinner for Gala 2019 was held at the Mastro brother’s new restaurant, Ocean 44, across from Scottsdale Fashion Square. Thanks to the Mastro Family and their incredible staff who created a memorable evening, Fresh Start raised $21,408.93 from supporters, friends and community members that dined that evening. 

“The generosity of community leaders like the Mastro family is overwhelming, and allows us to positively change so many lives in the Valley,” said Katsenes.

WHEN: March 9, 6:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Phoenician Resort

ATTIRE: Black Tie

TICKETS: Individual tickets start at $700. 

SPONSORSHIP: Susan Brow at (602) 261-7140 or