Fresh Start Gala Kick-Off

text by Fiona Clarke  photos by Darrylee Cohen

Top left: Pat Petznick and Jacquie Dorrance. Top right, left to right; Cathy Kleeman, Susan Berman, Sally Odegard and guest. Bottom left, left to right: Jacquie Dorrance, Erin Essert and Sally Odegard. Bottom right: Dr. Joel Cohen and Gabriele Bertaccini.

Kick-Off for Fresh Start’s 22nd annual Gala was hosted on November 2 by Jacquie Dorrance at her elegant home in Paradise Valley. Fresh Start supporters were warmly greeted by the hostess and directed to the outdoor patio for the evening festivities.

The event welcomed fashion designer Monique Lhuillier and her Spring 2018 collection, courtesy of Neiman Marcus, Scottsdale Fashion Square. Known for her hyper-feminine evening wear, the gowns were fashioned in delicate hues of pistachio, apricot, pale blue and rose, each with a little touch of sparkle. As the guests mingled and enjoyed cocktails, models donning the designer selections wove amongst the crowd.

To encourage Gala 2018 sales, Tim Braun, vice president and general manager of Neiman Marcus, Scottsdale, announced that every guest who committed to purchase a table would be entered to win a $1,000 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus. In addition, Chef Gabriele Bertaccini offered a private dining experience for the first six guests who committed to sponsor a table.

Top left: Camerone McCulloch and Amanda Garmany. Top right: Amy Videan and Katie Mueller. Bottom: Models in Lhuillier gowns.

Guests then were treated to a four-course Tuscan-inspired dinner, paired with Italian wines, created by Chef Gabriele Bertoccini, president and executive chef of Il Tocco Food. Known for using pristine ingredients that are simply executed and prepared with great passion, Chef Gabe wowed the guests with a medley of starter salads, three pasta selections, beef, lamb and fish entrées and a selection of delectable sweets.

Honoring more than two decades of support for Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Gala 2018 will be held on Saturday, March 10 at the Phoenician. Sally Odegard and Erin Essert will serve as co-chairs for the springtime event. Both women are longtime supporters of Fresh Start and are passionate about contributing towards the advancement of women. Both have played a vital role in the success of Fresh Start and generously continue to lend their time and talents to the organization.

Top, left to right: Gena Bonsall, Sharon Dupont and Jane Jozoff. Bottom left: Models in Lhuillier gowns. Bottom right: Pat Petznick and Amy Videan.

Erin Essert, co-owner of Leidan-Mitchell Salon & Spas and Model Citizen Salon, has been invested in Fresh Start from the very beginning. For the last 21 years, she has been the mastermind stylist for all fashion show models participating in Gala.

Sally A. Odegard, a current member of Fresh Start’s Board of Directors, is a founding partner of Holloway Odegard & Kelly, P.C. and was selected as one of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers in 2011.

The Gala is Fresh Start’s largest fundraising event, providing critical funds to support the organization’s programs and services at the Women’s Resource Center, a facility that welcomed over 17,000 visits last year. Event attendees will be treated to a cocktail reception and gourmet dinner, live entertainment and dancing plus many other surprises sprinkled throughout this special evening.

Above: Monique Lhuillier and Jacquie Dorrance with models in Lhuillier gowns.

Each year at the Gala, a visionary from the community is bestowed the Founders’ Award. As the 2018 recipient, Jacquie Dorrance will be honored for her dedication to enhancing the lives of the women in our community. A passionate and philanthropic leader, she has been a driving force in implementing change as well as championing positive impact that reaches across generations.

Co-founded by sisters Pat Petznick and Beverly Stewart over 25 years ago, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation has empowered tens of thousands of women to transform their lives. Every woman deserves a bright, happy and safe future which she and her family have what they need to thrive. To help her get there, Fresh Start offers each woman a customized plan of programs and services to help her build valuable life and career skills. For sponsorships, table sales or more information, please visit  : :