Woodson to be honored at Rancho Mirage musical extravaganza

the Tomorrow’s Tools Visionaries (TFT) will pay tribute to a dynamic philanthropist Sandra C. Woodson with his Future Vision Award February 28.

Chaired by Claire Smith, Irma Smith and CJ Westrick Bomar Esq., the Extravagant Musical Dinner Show will feature a Las Vegas-style revue combining an eclectic mix of musical favorites and big-name singers Terri Olsen and Frank Di Salvo accompanied by Olsen’s group, The perfect mix. The award-winning composers, the twins of the electric violin Nolan and Jason Livesaywill electrify the public.

Electric violin twins Nolan and Jason Livesay will be among the performers in the Tools for Tomorrow musical extravaganza on February 28, 2022.

Additionally, the Tools For Tomorrow program director David Hirsch will tickle the ivories, student of the TFT theater troupe C.J. Wealand will perform and TFT alum Abigail Carter will sing. Former TFT teacher and Open Call winner Kaitlyn Farley will serenade the audience as the KESQ meteorologist and “Eye on Desert” host patrick evans will serve as master of ceremonies.

At 5:00 p.m., a reception and silent auction will precede the three-course wine dinner at the Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage. Auction Co-Chairs Chris Metz and Terri Neuman will feature auction items ranging from U.S. Open golf packages and an all-inclusive stay at the Marquis Los Cabos Resort in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, to a Bighorn golf foursome.

Other silent auction items include a dinner at the Bighorn Steakhouse with Linda and Manny Rider; restaurant gift certificates such as Mezzo Mondo Trattoria, Restaurant Mamma Gina’s, The nest, So good, Willie’s modern fare, Wally’s Desert Tortoise and Eight4Nine; an Idyllwild hotel/wine tasting weekend package; tickets for Coachella Valley Directory, Dezart plays, Waring International Piano Competition VIP seats for the final and Desert Winds Freedom Band concerts; VIP tour for six at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and one modern hacienda interior decoration gift certificate.

Customers can also purchase exquisite Swarovski crystal-covered handbags and stunning jewelry. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for auction registration; select auction items will be offered online beginning February 15 at toolsfortomorrow.org.

The ‘Vision for the Future’ award to be given to Woodson was created by local artists Karine and Tony Baron.

Woodson’s charitable experience began as a fundraiser and board member for California Pacific Medical Center when she was a group vice president for Bank of America in San Francisco. After retiring to the desert in 2002, she applied her passion, creativity and leadership to several organizations, including the Waring International Piano Competition, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, the McCallum Theater Muses, ACT for MS, desert college, Rancho Mirage Cultural Commission and Coachella Valley Panhellenic Alumnae. In 2017, she received the Volunteer Awards for Fundraising Professionals.

Funds raised from the event will benefit Tools for Tomorrow’s free after-school program of integrated music, drama, creative writing, and art for Coachella Valley third- through fifth-grade students. In its 23rd year, TFT has adapted to COVID restrictions by training its teachers to deliver the art literacy program online to students at 24 different schools in the valley and providing each child with their own art kit loaded with supplies to use at home.

Reagan Elementary School's Tools for Tomorrow student Gabriella reveals her heart.

Desert Sands Unified School District Expanded Learning Program Supervisor Jaime Bikes said, “Now more than ever, students need a creative outlet to express themselves through hands-on activities that promote their social and emotional well-being.” Research shows that participation in arts education can boost self-confidence, academic achievement and coping skills.

At TFT’s 2021 virtual gala, Wealand said he looks forward to the theater troupe every week and has made a lot of friends. He also said he was sad when in-person rehearsals ended due to COVID, but “Zoom social interaction can be more effective — and the cast got to write our own script!”

The sponsor of the Musical Extravaganza event is Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa, located at 32-250 Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage. Other major sponsors include David W. Bryant, Mary Ellen Blanton, Connie and Bob Lurie Foundation, robin and Bob Nugent, Judy Mathes, MSA ConsultingLinda and Manny Rider, Sue Solomon, Nan Shipp and Bob Wernick.

Tickets are $200. To purchase (proof of COVID-19 vaccination and ID required for entry), become a sponsor, donate items at auction, join the Visionaries Support Group or volunteer, visit toolsfortomorrow.org or call (760) 601-3954.

Retired from the fashion industry, Suzanne Fromkin sits on the board of directors of Tools for Tomorrow and is advertising chair for the Artists Council. She is passionate about art and theatre.

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