Joseph M. Costa Named Honorary Chair of Hillsides’ Virtual Gala “Raising Hope”

Annual gala to be held online for the first time ever due to the pandemic

Los Angeles, Jan. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LOS ANGELES, January 21, 2021 – Hillsides, a Southern California foster care and mental health charity, has named Joseph M. Costa, its retiring President and CEO, as Honorary Chair of its first-ever Virtual Gala "Raising Hope" to be held online in February. Costa, the President and CEO emeritus of Hillsides who has served for more than 11 years, is leading this unique gala format that is being presented virtually, free and open to the public for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am very excited to show our supporters what our gala committee has in store for this incredibly special and unique event,” said Costa, who will retire from Hillsides in June. “Although we would love nothing more than to come together with our incredible supporters at our usual in-person gathering at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, the pandemic had other plans for us. However, we’ve decided to use this setback as an opportunity to create an entirely new event that will contain many of the elements that our supporters look forward to and new elements that will make this a virtual event to remember. Most importantly, this online format allows us to showcase this noteworthy event to a whole new audience who will be able to attend for free and experience our impactful program and entertainment lineup.”

The event’s theme, Raising Hope, is a timely recognition of this unique moment in history where so much of our daily lives have been severely impacted and so much lost due to the pandemic. Out of the darkness hope rises and Hillsides is counting on its supporters to help raise much-needed funds for our many clients who have been adversely affected by the pandemic. In addition to its financial impact, Costa envisions a gala where a new group of supporters will have the opportunity to be introduced to Hillsides’ mission and service to the community that began in 1913.

“We have already seen a heavy demand for our services across our programs due to the pandemic,” Costa said. “Minority communities have been disproportionately affected by illness and financial hardships and are coming to Hillsides in higher numbers than ever before through our Family Resource Centers and Foster Family and Adoptions programs. The pandemic has also taken a huge toll on the mental health of many of the young people we serve through our Residential Treatment program, our Youth Moving On program, and our Hillsides Education Center. We are dedicated to helping young people and this event is our signature fundraiser for the year that helps us deliver these essential services to the most vulnerable members of our community.”

The Hillsides Virtual Gala will be held on Saturday, February 27 at 6 p.m. and can be accessed through this link. Interested participants may also register for the event via the same link where they will receive event updates and be able to access the online silent auction prior to the event. All proceeds from the event will support Hillsides’ five core programs: a residential treatment program for children in foster care; a program for youth transitioning from foster care; Hillsides Education Center, a nonpublic school for students with academic and/or behavioral issues; family resource centers offering mental health services; and a foster care and adoption program.  The charity serves more than 17,000 children and families throughout Southern California.   

There are many opportunities for organizations and individuals to support Raising Hope, Hillsides Virtual Gala, through sponsoring the event or donating auction packages. To learn more about different levels of support and the benefit of contributing to the gala, please contact Carrie Espinoza, Hillsides Chief Advancement Officer at (323) 543-2800, ext. 12221 or


About Hillsides: Hillsides, with its affiliate Bienvenidos, is dedicated to healing children and young adults, strengthening families, and transforming communities through quality comprehensive services and advocacy. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the agency serves nearly 17,000 children and families in Southern California throughout more than 40 sites, including school-based mental health offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Baldwin Park. Foster care and adoptions services are offered in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. To learn more about Hillsides, please visit Visit Hillsides on Facebook @hillsideschildren, on Twitter @Hillsides, or on Instagram @HillsidesPasadena.


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