Voices for Five Acres, Swingin’ on a Star Gala Event to be held May 17

Jennifer Berger, 5 Acres Chief Advancement Officer; Leslie Lyons; Tiffany Harris; Sue McGuirl, Sponsorship Chair;  Matthew Lillard, actor and SOS Gala co-mc; Honorary Chairs Tena Clark and Michelle LeClair; Christine Selak; Michele Hall; Jill Hawkins
Jennifer Berger, 5 Acres Chief Advancement Officer; Leslie Lyons; Tiffany Harris; Sue McGuirl, Sponsorship Chair; Matthew Lillard, actor and SOS Gala co-mc; Honorary Chairs Tena Clark and Michelle LeClair; Christine Selak; Michele Hall; Jill Hawkins

Five Acres is pleased to announce its 11th Annual Swingin’ on a Star Gala, with the theme “Voices for Five Acres,” on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Trinity Ballroom in Pasadena. The event will honor Michelle LeClair and Tena Clark for their joint dedication to meeting the needs of children and families in crisis. 


"The love and support of a child creates ripples that last generations.  It is our responsibility to not look away when a child is in need," said LeClair.  "We can change the future of this world for the better by helping children."


Chanel Boutakidis, CEO, Five Acres, addressed the focus of the event, “With our theme of Voices, Five Acres invites caring individuals to join us for this gala evening, to be a voice for children as we share our vision that every child deserves a safe, loving and permanent family.” 


Serving as emcees will be actor Matthew Lillard, currently seen on “The Bridge” on FX, and Wendy Burch, Emmy award-winning reporter and anchor, KTLA.  The popular annual gala will also feature musical entertainment, dining, dancing and a live auction.  All proceeds support Five Acres programs and services that ensure safety, well-being and permanency for children and their families throughout Southern California.  Sue McGuirl serves as this year’s gala sponsorship chair.


Honorees Michelle LeClair and Tena Clark

Michelle LeClair specializes in bringing together the world's largest insurance carriers with the entertainment industry and small businesses. Michelle's successful career in the insurance industry has awarded her the ability to help launch her entertainment clients' projects as well as support causes such as Five Acres.  A frequent speaker on vital issues such as human rights education and the protection of children, LeClair has addressed the United Nations, State congresses, The Women's Legislator Events, UCLA, and more.


LeClair served as president of a human rights charity focused on children and currently serves on the board of The Center for Citizen Diplomacy, while also supporting many other causes including Five Acres, First Star and One Billion Rising.


With a blended family, Michelle and Tena are most proud of their role as devoted parents. “We believe that every child makes this world a better place,” said LeClair.  “Family is who loves you.”


Tena Clark, CEO/Chief Creative Officer founder of, DMI Music & Media Solutions, has the ear of President Barack Obama, literally, as DMI programs the President’s inflight music on Air Force One.


Iconic recording artists for whom Clark has written and/or produced include Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Jennifer Holliday, Gladys Knight, CeCe Winans, Dionne Warwick, Patti Austin, Stephanie Mills, Yolanda Adams and Rev. Shirley Caesar, among others. In 2009, Natalie Cole was honored with two GRAMMY awards for Still Unforgettable, executive produced by Clark. DMI is at the forefront of entertainment and music marketing, crafting strategies and activations for brands that include Build-A-Bear Workshop, Cisco, Delta Air Lines, General Mills, Kohl’s and Lucky Jeans.


Clark has excelled in multiple genres across an astonishing breadth of mediums. Highlights include penning award-winning country hits, contributing to multi-platinum movie soundtracks including Hope Floats, The Five Heart Beats, Where the Heart Is, and My Best Friend’s Wedding, and writing for television shows such as Desperate Housewives.  She also served as composer-lyricist for Twist: An American Musical, staged at the Pasadena Playhouse, directed and choreographed by Debbie Allen.


Five Acres is a leading nonprofit organization providing successful solutions that ensure safety, well-being and permanent homes for children and their families. Services include residential care and education; a non-public WASC accredited school, mental health services in homes and schools, foster care, adoptions and domestic violence prevention programs.


The agency’s successful programs have a measurable impact on nearly 6,500 children and members of their families and support networks served each year. Since 1888, Five Acres has touched the lives of more than 100,000 children and families.  For more information on Five Acres, visit www.fiveacres.org.


For Swingin’ on a Star “Voices for Five Acres” gala sponsorship opportunities and event ticket information, contact Jill Hawkins at 626.791-1225, ext. 1, or jill@mhpevents.com.  


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