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Fundraiser to Honor Mental Health Advocate Nancy Foster

MHALA’s Under the Toque Gala Returns Oct. 7

Long Beach, Calif. (September 12, 2019) – Mental Health America of Los Angeles is honoring the work of Nancy Foster as part of its fourth Under the Toque gala and auction.

The annual charity fundraiser takes place Monday, October 7th from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Long Beach Marriott. MHALA’s signature event supports residents of Los Angeles County living with mental health needs.

Nearly 400 guests are expected to attend the benefit dinner and auction, where some of Long Beach’s top chefs will reveal their culinary talents and bring their ideal dining experience to life – from décor to dessert. The five-course dining event will include some of the area’s most popular culinary artists, including Brad Romoff of the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel and Janine Falvo of Lido House Hotel.

The evening also features silent and live auctions offering a curated selection of trips, items and memorable experiences.

Under the Toque helps raise critical dollars to ensure that people with mental health needs achieve meaningful, healthy lives in their communities.

“Each of us can play a vital role in the empowerment of so many individuals with mental health needs,” said Dr. Christina Miller, president and CEO of Mental Health America of Los Angeles. “I am so grateful to every participant, sponsor and guest of Under the Toque for having a direct impact on our community — and thrilled that we are able to honor Nancy Foster for her unwavering commitment to mental health awareness.”

Foster, long a champion of mental health awareness and education, has dedicated the last 18 years to the Long Beach community. Her work with multiple organizations has helped raise understanding and funds for various causes, including mental health. For her commitment to the community, she received the President’s Distinguished Service Award from California State University, Long Beach President Dr. Robert Maxson in 2005. California State Senator Alan Lowenthal, now a U.S. Congressman, named Foster “Woman of the Year” for the 27th District in 2009.

“Nancy has long been an ally of our community,” shared Silvano Merlo, general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach Downtown, who chairs the Under the Toque event committee. “As we celebrate her efforts, we also come together to continue advocating for increased awareness and equity in mental health services.”

There is limited seating for the event. To donate auction items, sponsor a table or purchase tickets, contact Molly Ann Woods at 562-285-1330 x 1055 or To see highlights of last year’s Under the Toque, click here.

About Mental Health America of Los Angeles

Mental Health America of Los Angeles is a national leader in mental health service innovation, training, and advocacy. Each year, we serve more than 9,000 individuals, including transitional-age youth, veterans and their families, and many who are or have been homeless. Founded in 1924, MHALA is recognized for its paradigm of service delivery — now widely used across the country that meets each person where they are, integrates services, is strength based, and respects clients’ choices for their own progress. With a staff of 400 and multiple sites across Los Angeles County, we offer a full range of services, including mental health services and coordination; housing assistance and placement; employment services; financial and benefits assistance; education; and wellness services.

MHALA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. For more information, call (562) 285-1330 or visit Join our conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.