Attendees from left, Linda Curran, Jennifer DeHayven, Keving MacDonald and Eboni Williams laugh about he mouse Trap game theme of their table at the Circle of Hope's 15th Annual Afternoon Tea and Cocktail Reception held at The Hyatt Regency Valencia on Saturday October, 06, 2018. (Photo by Dan Watson)

Circle of Hope hosts annual Afternoon Tea

Circle of Hope hosted its 15th annual Afternoon Tea Saturday to kick off 31 Days of Hope.

In accordance with this year’s theme, “The Game of Hope, In It To Win It,” each table was decorated as a different board game by a sponsor.

“The creativity that goes into these tables and the love — it’s the passion of our cause that I think drives these people to just make them so beautiful,” said Caren Kahan, executive board treasurer for Circle of Hope and co-chair of the event.

Attendees sit around the Candy Land themed table at the Circle of Hope’s 15th Annual Afternoon Tea and Cocktail Reception held at The Hyatt Regency Valencia on Saturday October, 06, 2018. (Photo by Dan Watson)

The afternoon began with a social hour, with attendees l given a chance to bid on silent auction items before receiving their first course meal of scones and breakfast breads.

Co-chairs Maggie-Mae Laufman, Caren Kahan and Alexander Hafizi welcomed those in attendance before the special presentations and second course meal of sandwiches, and a third course meal of desserts.

“We wanted to give people a beautiful experience from end to end, including the food,” Kahan said.

Guest speakers Dr. Caitlin L. Gomez, Dr. Nimit Sudan and cancer survivor Tamara Huntsinger educated the audience on cancer and how it has impacted their lives.

Dr, Nimit Sudan, left, Medicine, Hematology and Oncology Specialist from UCLA chats with Colleen Shaffer Circle of Hope founder at the Circle of Hope’s 15th Annual Afternoon Tea and Cocktail Reception held at The Hyatt Regency Valencia on Saturday October, 06, 2018. (Photo by Dan Watson)

“Every single person I have met has been touched by cancer in some way, via themselves, their family, their friends, friends of friends,” Kahan said. “They understand the effect that cancer can have. Sometimes cancer, they can’t beat it.”

The presenting sponsor, Brighton Collectibles, agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds from bracelet sales, both at the tea and at the Westfield Valencia Town Center store, for the benefit Circle of Hope, according to the City of Hope website.

All proceeds from the event stay local and help City of Hope clients in Santa Clarita.

Circle of Hope Client, Tamara Huntsinger, left, chats with Jill Bondy, Director of Client Services at the Circle of Hope’s 15th Annual Afternoon Tea and Cocktail Reception held at The Hyatt Regency Valencia on Saturday October, 06, 2018. (Photo by Dan Watson)

Circle of Hope Inc.’s mission is to provide emotional, financial and educational support to those diagnosed with cancer in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The nonprofit has been dedicated to the community, serving patients and families since 2004.

“Circle of Hope, what I love about them is they take some of the financial burden off so they can concentrate on feeling,” Kahan said. “I think with so many people that have seen it or gone through the battle, they understand what that means.”

For more information on their services and their upcoming event as a part of their 31 days of hope, visit https://circleofhopeinc.org/.

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