Thank You to Our 2019 Author's Luncheon & Fundraiser Sponsors!

By Omar Jawdat, Blog Intern

Celebrating its 16th year, the Author’s Luncheon & Fundraiser is Words Alive’s signature event, which features renowned authors such as Salman Rushdie, Jodi Picoult, and Isabelle Allende! This unique event introduces patrons to to their most beloved authors, while witnessing an intimate conversation about the author’s life, writing, and featured novel, all while supporting the learning development of children, teens, and families in our community. Integrating both style and intellect, the Author’s Luncheon also offers something for everyone in our marketplace, silent auction, and opportunity drawing for a chance to win prizes! Each fall, over 600 patrons attend with the aim of supporting Words Alive.

The 16th Annual Author’s Luncheon & Fundraiser will feature novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and literary historian, Emma Donoghue! The event will take place on Tuesday, September 10 (10:00am - 2:00pm)  at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. 

Sponsorship Opportunities  

This event would not be possible without our incredible sponsors. These organizations and individuals have gone above and beyond in their support of Words Alive and our mission. All sponsors receive recognition on our website, blog, e-newsletters, social media, and annual reports. Frequency and placement is based upon level of sponsorship. Sponsors and their guests are also invited to a special post-event VIP reception and toast!

 For more details and questions, visit this website or contact Words Alive.

We Would Like to Thank All of Our Following Sponsors for Being Part of This Special Event!

Impact Sponsors

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  • Gurtin Municipal Bond Management

    • Becoming a PIMCO company in January 2019, Gurtin Municipal Bond Management is an investment management firm focused on maximizing tax-free income. Through their focused expertise in investment-grade bonds, innovative research, technology, and investment strategies, Gurtin Municipal Bond Management is committed to providing tailored municipal investment experiences, including seeking to maximize risk-adjusted returns. In the midst of a financial crisis, Bill Gurtin founded Gurtin Municipal Bond Management in the hopes of building the premier tax-exempt municipal bond management firm in the industry and making a commitment to the loyal clients that have made it possible.    

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  • Carleton Management, Inc. 

    • Carleton Management, Inc. is a real estate investment company with strong roots in San Diego, California. Carleton Management’s philosophy is to invest for the long-term, hold diversified properties in its portfolio, rarely sell its investments, and periodically enter into strategic development relationships. Carleton Management, Inc.’s San Diego roots date back to the 1920s, when Isaac Ratner, a cap manufacturer, moved his wife and family of six children from New York City. The company had originally started as a clothing business, particularly for naval uniforms and officers’ caps during World War II. Soon after, the company became the largest manufacturing company of clothing in the 1960’s and 1970s. Since the 1980s, working his way up, Abe Ratner’s son-in-law, Stanely Foster evolved the business into what it has become today, a real estate investment company.

Ballroom Wine Sponsor

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  • Partners in Thought

    • Partners in Thought, “A Science-based Coaching for High Achievers”, provides tools to help facilitate deeper thinking, developing different effective strategies, self-discovery, and change to achieve goals, growth, and celebrate accomplishments. They have successfully been doing so for individuals and organizations extending to five continents! Partners in Thought’s nonprofit and public agency services help nonprofit and governmental boards and executives develop the most effective and sustainable organizations and leaders. We thank you for your sponsorship!

Champagne Reception Sponsor

  • Moss Adams

    • Since 1913, when the firm first opened, Moss Adams has been dedicated and responsible for growth and sustainability amongst their clients, people, and neighborhoods. The firm expanded its services to Portland in 1922. The firm then opened in Northern and Southern California in the 1960’s and 70’s, offering clients the value-added services that compliment their core assurance and tax solutions. Today, working with more than 3,200 professionals across more than 25 locations in the West and beyond, Moss Adams has worked with the most innovative companies and leaders, helping them conquer challenges as they plan for what’s next. Moss Adams was recognized among the 100 Best Companies for the programs, benefits, and career support that mothers and other women at the firm receives.

Print Sponsor

  • Geppetto’s 

    • We would like to thank Geppeto’s Toys for their sponsorship, and all the joy they have brought to children through their magical world of classic toys, which inspire creativity and fun play time for the entire family! For over 40 years, Gepetto’s has been a San Diego Tradition, locally owned and operated by the Miller family. Originally located in the Old Town area of San Diego, Gepetto’s stores have expanded significantly from Carlsbad to Downtown, and many other neighborhoods in between. Gepetto’s offers exceptional service, with complimentary gift wrapping everyday and special product orders.

Media Sponsor

  • Voice of San Diego

    • Founded in 2005 by Union Tribune columnist Neil Morgan and entrepreneur Buzz Wooley, the Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit news organization that reaches out to the region of San Diego, exposing the true facts that people might not want out there. They are committed to revealing why things are the way they are. The Voice of San Diego takes the time to explain complex local public policy issues in the efforts that the people of San Diego become more engaged and make good decisions.

PR Sponsor

  • Berkman Strategic Communications

    • Berkman Strategic Communications are communication strategists at the highest level. As a strategic communications and public relations firm, they have become mentors and guides who provide strong insights and counsel to extraordinary clients to exceed their goals and objectives. Berkman also delivers high value, result driven marketing programs to clients of various industries and across a variety of disciplines. They continue to engage in positive impacts through the power of all communication channels (digital and traditional), while elevating their clients from the competition.

Community Supporter

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  • Filice Insurance

    • As a full service consulting firm for more than 25 years, Filice Insurance has been providing insurance solutions for over 2,000 companies throughout California. Since their inception in 1989, Filice has grown to become one of the largest independent employee benefits and insurance consulting firms in California. Their credit to this growth is based upon their focus on service and their investment in the tools and technology necessary to support a client base.

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  • Belly Up

    • Thank you, Belly Up, for your community support! Belly Up provides the best in new, up-and-coming artists, as well as established legends in genres ranging from alternative rock, indie rock, rock, reggae, and hip-hop to blues, folk, jazz, Latin & more! 

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  • Pacific Coast Grill

    • We would like to thank Pacific Coast Grill for their support! Pacific Coast Grill’s oceanfront venues provide a variety of unique “Pacific Coast” cuisines, an oyster bar, select sushi rolls, black mussels, baked oysters, and a surfeit of more seafood choices! Since 1995, PCG has used fresh, local, free range ingredients to produce delicious food at friendly prices.

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  • Christopher Weil & Co, Inc.

    • Christopher Weil & Co, Inc. provides exceptional investment management, deploying various aspects of management expertise in different fields of business. The Weil Company was formed in 1989 by Chris Weil, in the aims to advise and manage wealth for others. Since the 1970s, they have sponsored and managed over seventy private equity funds which are formed to invest in residential and commercial real estate, as well as small businesses. Their services include comprehensive financial reviews, estate and insurance planning, installation of and advice to retirement plans, and consultation on philanthropy and philanthropic vehicles. The Christopher Weil & Co, Inc. also works to help clients put a plan in place to create a match between resources and goals.

It’s Not Too Late to Become a Sponsor! 

Details on how to become a sponsor, including sponsorship opportunities, package details, tables, and tickets can be found here.

Sponsor Highlight: Voice of San Diego

Words Alive's signature fundraising event is the Annual Author's Luncheon & Fundraiser. Celebrating its 15th year, the Author's Luncheon has featured world renowned authors such as Salman Rushdie, Jodi Picoult, and Isabel Allende

Taking place each fall, the Author's Luncheon is attended by over 600 patrons that include book lovers, philanthropists, educators, civic organizations, and people invested in creating a more literate and thriving San Diego. This intellectual, elegant, and fast-paced fundraising event helps Words Alive raise over $200,000 annually, funds that make up a considerable portion of what Words Alive needs to continue serving thousands of children and families each year.

This event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors, the generous people, companies, and organizations who know how important literacy is for a successful and thriving community, and support our mission of opening opportunities of life success by inspiring a commitment to reading. 

Voice of San Diego (VOSD) is is an award-winning nonprofit news organization based in San Diego, California, and the Media Sponsor for the 15th Annual Author's Luncheon & Fundraiser! Laura Kohn, Words Alive Board Member and co-host of VOSD's Good Schools For All podcast, had this to say about both organizations:

"Words Alive and Voice of San Diego are both about helping San Diegans engage with the community through words and knowledge. The children and youth who benefit from Words Alive’s programs will hopefully grow up to be civically active community members who vote and participate in our democracy. And our local democracy will be healthier for them thanks to VOSD’s intrepid reporting."

Hear more from Voice of San Diego:


Want to know what’s really happening in San Diego?

Concerned about how local agencies operate and make decisions about education, the environment, housing, or public safety?

VOSD's Morning Report logo, sign up here!

VOSD's Morning Report logo, sign up here!

Then check out Voice of San Diego’s Morning Report to learn more. As a Words Alive supporter and someone who cares about San Diego, we think you’ll enjoy reading it. 

Voice of San Diego is an award-winning nonprofit news organization that digs deeply into local issues and organizations that affect the public. Our mission is to deliver ground-breaking investigative journalism for the San Diego region and to increase civic participation by giving residents the knowledge and in-depth analysis necessary to become advocates for good government and social progress.

VOSD’s stories spurr officials to act, catalyze change, and enhance the lives of our fellow residents. Below are a few examples of how VOSD made a difference in our community in 2017.

PUBLIC HEALTH: VOSD Coverage Spurs City and County to Act on Hepatitis A


Within a day of Lisa Halverstadt’s story describing county and city officials’ foot-dragging on a response to the Hepatitis A crisis, both entities announced they would take swift action. The story prompted public responses from elected officials and attention from national media outlets.



SANDAG Executive Director Gary Gallegos stepped down following a nearly yearlong investigation by Andy Keatts, that culminated in a brutal report from an outside law firm.

Legislation to overhaul the San Diego Association of Governments, written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month. The bill was spurred by our reporting on SANDAG’s faulty revenue forecasts.



A San Diego Superior Court judge sided with Voice of San Diego and found that San Diego Unified improperly withheld documents related to our investigation of former trustee Marne Foster. The case sets an important check on public agencies who try to keep public records from the public under the guise of exemptions to the California Public Records Act.


The San Diego County Taxpayers Association gave two awards to Ashly McGlone and Andy Keatts to honor their coverage of the Field Turf contracting issues and the SANDAG scandal, respectively.

San Diego Society of Professional Journalists recently announced Andy Keatts as 2018 Journalist of the Year for his investigation into SANDAG.

We have many sponsorship opportunities still available! If you, or the company you work for, believes in the importance of literacy and is interested in helping Words Alive foster a more literate community, check out sponsorship details here. We have benefits available from social media promotion, to recognition on centerpieces, to the opportunity to announce our featured author, Mary Kubica, at the event!

Read Aloud Program and Wells Fargo Foundation Support

Reading aloud to young children is the most important thing we can do to help them become lifelong learners and strong readers. In our Read Aloud Program, trained volunteers read aloud each week to approximately 4,300 children from low income communities at early childhood education and Title 1 - eligible elementary school sites across San Diego.

This year our Read Aloud Program continues to grow and develop in order to meet the needs of our community. This program year, our Read Aloud Program is in 110 classrooms in 29 schools throughout San Diego County.

The Wells Fargo Foundation has given Words Alive $15,000 to sustain the work that we are doing. In addition, our partners at the Caster Center continue to help us evaluate our small group model and we hope to expand this model into more classrooms. The small group model allows the students to go deeper with the books our volunteers are reading to them in the classrooms, by providing them opportunities to analyze the text and vocabulary, look for context clues, and relate the books to topics being covered in the classroom. 

We are also expanding our Read Aloud Program into Orange County through our partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove.

We'd like to say thank you to the Wells Fargo Foundation for their support of early childhood literacy and our Read Aloud Program. We look forward to making reading matter for thousands of children this year and we could not do this without the support of our partners!