Written by Aaron W., Vice President of True Photography and Aaron Feldman’s lifelong friend (over 37 years!)
He wasn’t supposed to be there. No one knew he was coming. But there he was, just two days after his latest Chemo round, standing in front of over three hundred cheering Love Benefit attendees. Looking at the outpouring of support, a clearly emotional Aaron Feldman gave a heartfelt speech that left many in tears.
In December of 2014, just after his 38th birthday, Aaron (our company’s founder) was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukemia / lymphoma. He was immediately hospitalized and has since been undergoing intensive treatment through UCSD as part of a three-year clinical trial. When news about Aaron’s Cancer shook the community, the immediate reaction was to spring into action. “We are event professionals, so our natural instinct is to throw an unforgettable fundraising event in Aaron’s honor,” said Amanda McPhail of Creative Affairs, Inc.
Within days, over 150 companies had pledged their services or donations, including sponsors such as The Mar Dels Band, Pizza Port Brewing Company, Bernardo Winery, and ten top catering companies. The resulting event, The Love Benefit, was graciously hosted at the beautiful Morgan Run in Rancho Santa Fe on June 2, 2015. The dress code was “groovy cocktail attire,” and the crowd got into the spirit by wearing vintage and retro-inspired fashions of the 60’s and 70’s Beatles era.
In addition, the event’s silent auction and opportunity drawings showcased more than 50 items and services from the best of San Diego, including staycations from L’Auberge, US Grant and Andaz hotels, memorabilia from former Padre Steve Finley, luxurious packages from Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, and dining at Pamplemousse in Del Mar. Guests also challenged each other to a putt-off, and ladies cruised the party in gorgeous flower crowns, donated by an array of talented florists. Many attendees walked away with nice opportunity drawing and auction prizes, with a portion of all proceeds going to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Although the majority of the evening was devoted to fun, emotions also ran deep, especially during Aaron’s surprise speech.
“I didn’t know just how many people cared about me,” Aaron said. “Now I actually see it.”