Sixth Annual Gala a Dazzling Success

April 27, 2017 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

PCRI’s Sixth Annual Dancing with the Stars Portland Gala was a glitter and glamour filled success, raising $96,000 to support affordable housing and services for PCRI residents and north/northeast Portland community members! The dancers delivered an amazing show and the event’s sponsors, volunteers and guests made the evening another memorable event.

Jessi and Alex Aillon started off the 2017 PCRI Gala. Photo: Brit Forbes

Jessi and Alex Aillon started off the 2017 PCRI Gala. Photo: Brit Forbes

Following a lively reception, Alex and Jessi Aillon of Fred Astaire Dance Studio delivered a stunning opening performance. Emcee Sasha Spencer Atwood shared her personal connections to the work PCRI does.

Gala competitors (left to right) Kali Thorne Ladd, Paul van der Salm, Tricia Tillman, Carlos Banks. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

Gala competitors (left to right) Kali Thorne Ladd, Paul van der Salm, Tricia Tillman, Carlos Banks. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

The headlining entertainment of the evening, the Dancing with the Stars-style competition, was every bit as exciting as its television namesake. Trained by and paired with professional dancers from Portland’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio, each dancing couple put on a spectacular show.

Kali Thorne Ladd and Alex Aillon's Viennese Waltz won the Gala competition. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

Kali Thorne Ladd and Alex Aillon’s Viennese Waltz won the Gala competition. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

In the end, only one dance couple could be named champion and while judges Cupid Alexander, Serilda Summers-McGee, Andrew Tweedie and auction winner Robert Hoffman had a tough decision, they named Kali Thorne Ladd and Alex Aillon this year’s winners.

Gala judges weigh in on the competition. Photo: Brit Forbes

Gala judges weigh in on the competition. Photo: Brit Forbes

But the evening isn’t just about a dance competition. Sasha Spencer Atwood and PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick celebrated the successes achieved by PCRI residents while underscoring the work that is still needed: to ensure all families have access to the benefits of stable, affordable housing in Portland’s opportunity-rich close-in neighborhoods. Led by auctioneer Kelly Russell, the gala’s live auction and special appeal had guests bid cards high in the air.

Guests raised their bid cards to support PCRI. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

Guests raised their bid cards to support PCRI. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

Most notably, Northeast Portland homeowner Jenean Dunn shared her emotional story of how she was introduced to PCRI at a critical time. Fighting back tears on stage, she shared how PCRI’s homeownership retention program helped her keep her home and ensure she got the heat back on so she could stay in the house and neighborhood she’s called home since she was a child (click HERE to watch the video).

Jeanan Dunn (left) shares her experience working with PCRI and staff member Lisa Williams (right). Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

Jeanan Dunn (left) shares her experience working with PCRI and staff member Lisa Williams (right). Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

For more photos, be sure to visit Naim Hasan Photography’s website and the Gala website! And, of course, we extend a giant thank you to all our sponsors, contributors and guests as well as the fantastic volunteers who made the evening such an amazing success. If you’re not already signed up, be sure to join our mailing list to get news and invitations for next year’s gala – the date will be announced soon!

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