Musical fundraiser saves Hillcrest

Kristine Delgadillo
Staff Writer

The Hillcrest Retirement Home held its 29th annual Good Samaritan Dinner at the Candlelight Pavilion in Claremont March 7, with the goal of raising money for the home’s emergency fund.

Often the residents of Hillcrest stay longer than expected, so funds are saved to assist those who can no longer afford to stay, but have no other option for care.

The Pavilion set-up included a stage surrounded by balcony seating for donors who contributed a certain amount.

University of La Verne’s President Devorah Lieberman and her husband, Roger Auerbach, were among the night’s guests.

“I loved coming out tonight and sitting down with individuals who have lived decades,” Lieberman said.

“When I see these residents of Hillcrest, I feel like I’m coming home because so many of them are connected to the University in one way or another.”

President and Chief Executive Officer of Hillcrest Matthew Neely introduced the evening’s program, including giving a plot summary of the main entertainment, the musical “My Fair Lady.”

Dinner followed Neely’s introductions.

Tables and booths filled the rest of the banquet hall, which hosted more than 300 for the event that also included a solo performance by guitar player and La Verne music department associate Michael Ryan.

The raffle following the dinner included prizes such as a trip for two to Hawaii, gift certificates worth $500, Pilates classes and an iPad, among other prizes.

The production of “My Fair Lady,” by Claremont’s Candlelight Pavilion players followed.

“The play was great and I enjoyed the production,” Hillcrest guest Lauren Julia Lindenlaub said.

“It was very well done and the main actor was fantastic.”

The musical tells the story of a lower class English woman, who was taken in by a wealthy man who then taught her to act, dress and speak like a proper lady.

The two struggle to get along at first, but in the end they realize their appreciation for each other, despite their different backgrounds.

The humor of the musical was reflected in the audience’s good cheer throughout the evening, as guests mingled and shared their excitement for the night’s festivities creating a sense of community throughout the room.

“It’s an effective way for (Hillcrest) to earn money for a benevolent fund, and it’s something I personally enjoy doing,” said Lauren Sykes, granddaughter of one of the Hillcrest residents.

“It’s fun to see the community of Hillcrest get together and interact with everyone.”

Lieberman said she has come to this event for three consecutive years, thoroughly enjoys it and encourages students to come to the following years’ dinner.

“I would love to have more opportunities for us to find ways where these different generations could be together and learn from each other.”

Kristine Delgadillo can be reached at

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