The event will feature two heavyweights: basketball Hall-of-Famer Bill Walton in person, and artist Marc Chagall on canvas. A raffle, which will be drawn by Walton, will allow one lucky guest to go home with an original Chagall.
“This is the art of giving,” said gallery sales consultant Richard Sertucha, who has been active in charity events with CAF for years. “We’re selling art, and we’re giving back. This will be the biggest [CAF] event yet, I think. [Martin Lawrence] is a big name, right on Prospect Street, and we’re bringing in big art.”
The gallery has long been active on the charity circuit, and especially with regard to CAF of late, with Martin Lawrence’s participation in CAF’s 20th annual San Diego Triathlon Challenge on Oct. 20. The gallery also participated in the PEERS gala in September, which chooses one nonprofit to benefit from its annual gala every year. This year, the beneficiary was CAF.
“[The Triathlon Challenge] was an interesting interaction with community involvement,” said gallery director Brenda Klippel. “Challenged Athletes started 20 years ago at the Cove, so it was a perfect tie-in for us here, with our location. They’ve made a real difference in the lives of athletes, and it was so great to see that firsthand and be a part of it.”
Klippel and Sertucha said they feel La Jolla is the perfect location to let art lovers combine that love with the chance to help others. Having a local celebrity like Bill Walton doesn’t hurt either, they said.
“Bill and other CAF athletes will be here, which is a big draw,” said Sertucha. “But the art is just as much a star as Bill is.”
Klippel agreed that the chance to rub elbows with a local celeb is not the only draw that will bring guests through the door on Nov. 15.
“We’re really bringing in potential art investors,” she said. “They, in turn, get the added bonus of giving back.”
For Sertucha, who has run the event out of other galleries in La Jolla in the past, the event has special meaning.
“I’ve done a lot of events here in La Jolla, but this event with Challenged Athletes has probably been the most rewarding of all,” he said. “It just touches your heart how people can go through a lot of tragedy and stay upbeat. There’s just a lot that goes into it. To see people over the years evolve into good health has meant a lot to me.”
This will be the first year Sertucha is bringing the event to Martin Lawrence.
“To go into a new gallery, and have Brenda be supportive of this idea and helping the kids, it’s meant a lot to me,” he said. “I’m a great idea person, but I need an organizer. That’s where Brenda has been tremendously helpful and Martin Lawrence tremendously supportive.”
The special exhibition featuring Challenged Athletes Foundation members, Bill Walton and Chagall paintings will take place on Nov. 15 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The gallery is located at 1111 Prospect St. To RSVP, call (858) 551-1122.