Posted by Stacy Shaffer on



Retiring President and CEO, Mel Rogers,

and "Heroes" of the Station Also Honored 

COSTA MESA, Calif. (April 20, 2015) - With a theme of Stardust Nights and an Old Las Vegas/Rat Pack Vibe, PBS SoCaL's April 18th Orange County gala assembled more than 300 supporters of Southern California's largest classroom, most-watched stage for the arts, and most-trusted source of information. Proceeds from the "Stardust Saturday Night" are estimated at over $600,000 and will enable PBS SoCaL to continue to educate, inform and inspire the over 16 million people in Southern California.

The eighth-annual gala was hosted by Antiques Roadshow's Mark L. Walberg and took place at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa in Huntington Beach, CA. The evening honored the leadership and legacy of PBS SoCaL's retiring President and CEO, Mel Rogers, and the "Heroes" of the Station.

Mel Rogers was honored for his 18 years of service as President and CEO of PBS SoCaL, formerly KOCE-TV. His many accomplishments included the station's conversion to digital HDTV, the relocation of its transmitter, making the station an independent community-focused enterprise, the production of many local programs, and leading KOCE in stepping forward as the new primary PBS station for Los Angeles.

The "Heroes" of the Station who were honored included John & Mary Tu; Henry & Susan Samueli; Bob & Sue Brown; Martha Fluor; Judi Garfi-Partridge; Joann Leatherby; Russ & Susie Leatherby; Phil & Mary Lyons; Dan & Gigi Werbin; Jerry & Judy Cwiertnia; Joel & Judy Slutzky; David Pyott of Allergan; Conexant Systems; Anne G. Earhart of Marisla Foundation; Pacific Life Corporation; Rancho Mission Viejo; and Western Digital Foundation. Their invaluable support a decade ago helped to keep PBS SoCaL alive during a difficult time.

PBS SoCaL's 2014 "Community Champions" were also recognized for their outstanding work in the community, including:  Charmaine Jefferson, former Executive Director of the California African American Museum; Operation Clean Slate; Shelter Me; Dr. Michi Fu, Alliant International University; Orange County Rescue Mission; Project Access; Esperanza Community Housing; Homefront America and City Ballet of Los Angeles.

The event took guests back in time to celebrate the iconic era of Las Vegas with gaming tables and regalement. The evening's program included surprise messages to Rogers from PBS President Paula Kerger, Ken Burns, Peter Asher, CPB President Patricia Harrison, PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifell, and more. The night ended with an after party in the "Rat Pack" lounge with entertainment by JT & Friends, a talented 55-member ensemble of horns, strings, woodwinds, keyboards, percussion and singers fronted by John Tu.


Opportunities to support PBS SoCaL's mission throughout the evening included opportunities to bid for unique dinner parties, including "The David Fanning FRONTLINE Experience," "The Joe Bonamassa Experience," and an "Evening with CBS News Travel Editor, Peter Greenberg." The live auction was followed by a Fund-The-Need campaignto support PBS SoCaL's service to the community.

The 2015 PBS SoCaL Gala was organized by Honorary Co-Chairs including S. Paul & Marybelle Musco, Jim & Kelly Mazzo, and Phil & Mary Lyons; with Jim & Vivian McCluney, Dr. Jo Ellen Chatham, and Ardelle St.George serving as the Co-Chairs. This year's event garnered the support of "Rat Pack" sponsors: John & Mary Tu; "Frank Sinatra" sponsors: Marybelle & S. Paul Musco; "Dean Martin" sponsors: The Allergan Foundation, FivePoint Communities, Phil & Mary Lyons, Jim & Kelly Mazzo,   and Vivian & Jim McCluney; "Sammy Davis Jr." sponsors:   Golden State Foods Foundation, Harlyne J. Norris and Pacific Life; and "Joey Bishop" sponsors: Edison International, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP,  , Jones Lang LaSalle, KPMG LLP, My Brother Joey Foundation, ST.GEORGE & CARNEGIE, U.S. Bank Commercial Banking, Union Bank,  and Wells Fargo Bank. In-kind sponsors included: All Hands Car Wash, Arbonne International, LLC, Growers Direct Flowers, Inc. in Tustin, JT & Friends, Orange County Community Foundation, Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony, Public Broadcasting Service, Rusty Surfboards, Scotts Restaurant & Bar, and Tustin Ranch Golf Club.

About PBS SoCaL

PBS SoCaL is the only stationin the Greater Los Angelesarea providing the full PBS schedule to Southern California and is home to all PBS program premieres as they are released nationally.As Southern California's flagship PBS station, PBS SoCaL provides early education, access to a broad array of arts and culture, and programs for, about and by the people of Southern California.

PBS SoCaL is the parent to three unique broadcast channels, PBS SoCaL/KOCE-HD, PBS SoCaL Plus, and PBS SoCaL World, which are dedicated to educating, entertaining and enlightening viewers throughout Southern California. PBS SoCaL offices are located in Downtown LA, Century City and Costa Mesa.  PBS SoCaL is proudly, our communities' largest classroom, largest stage for the arts and trusted source of information. Explore the future of PBS in Southern California at www.pbssocal.org.


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Stacy Shaffer                                  

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