Lutheran Social Services Raises Over $210K at Color of Hope Gala Honoring Steve and Cathy Kienle

Lutheran Social Services Raises Over $210K at Color of Hope Gala Honoring Steve and Cathy Kienle

Riverside, Calif. (October 17, 2023) – Lutheran Social Services of Southern California (LSSSC) – a leading provider of social services programs in Southern California – raised over $210K at its Color of Hope Gala & Awards on October 7 among 215 guests. The elegant affair held at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside honored Steve and Cathy Kienle of Walter’s Automotive and featured a moving art project by Brian Peterson of Faces of Mankind.

The gala theme Mission Possible – a twist on the Mission Impossible TV show – tied into the multi county social services organization and their efforts to transform the San Bernardino Central City Lutheran Mission (CCLM) into a comprehensive Community Wellness Campus.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all our donors and supporters. Your unwavering belief in our mission and your generous contributions are the lifeblood of our organization. Without your support, we would not be able to do what we do – providing essential services to vulnerable individuals in Southern California,” said LSSSC CEO Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith.


An evening highlight was a live art project featuring an original art piece by artist and homeless advocate Brian Peterson from the Faces of Mankind project. The rendering depicted Johnny Martel, Sr. and his son Johnny, Jr. The senior Martel had sought assistance through Lutheran Social Services’ housing and case management program in Long Beach after facing childhood violence, family mental health issues and addiction. The extended Martel family attended the gala to celebrate his sobriety, healing and unwavering faith. During the live auction, the finished portrait was auctioned and ultimately purchased by the Kienle’s who in turn donated it back to the family.


The beautiful evening featured a welcome reception with photo areas, cocktails and silent auction followed by a gourmet dinner, awards ceremony, speakers, live auction and music provided by the Crean Lutheran High School Jazz Band. Special guest presenter was renowned motivational speaker and LSSSC CEO Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith while event emcee and auctioneer Jesse Hernandez guided the evening with great energy and enthusiasm.


Licensed in six counties, Lutheran Social Services provides local programs, case management and initiatives including ending homelessness, supporting victims of violence, feeding the hungry, supporting mental health recovery, connecting with seniors and mentoring youth.


For more information about Lutheran Social Services Southern California visit, or call (714) 685-1800 ext. 1213.


About Lutheran Social Services of Southern California

For 77 years, Lutheran Social Services of Southern California (LSSSC) has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to helping the most vulnerable families and individuals in Southern California. LSSSC is a social ministry organization with the Lutheran Services of America, one of the largest health and human service networks in America. Partners and funders include the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, and US Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services. The history of LSSSC dates back to 1944 when a handful of congregants from Lutheran churches in San Diego began providing services and resources to veterans returning home. This group joined with like-minded congregants in Los Angeles and formed Lutheran Social Services in 1946. Today, LSSSC employs almost 200 caring and dedicated staff that deliver more than 30 programs across six counties. Ignited by faith, we live out God’s love by embracing, equipping and empowering vulnerable people in Southern California.






Media Contact:

Barbara Kimler



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Ambassadors are short-term volunteers who open doors for our organization in the community, introducing new people at our bi-monthly Fostering Community Care event. These are one hour awareness events only (no solicitations are made) to expose people to the great work of LSS Community Care. To become an Ambassador here are your responsibilities:
  1. 1 – Attend at least one Fostering Community Care event during the calendar year
  2. 2 – Host or invite and bring 10-15 guests to one Fostering Community Care event within 3 months of your attending one yourself.
  3. 3 – Inform your invited guests of what the Fostering Community Care meeting will be about, and let them know that they will receive a follow up call from the organization
  4. 4 – Ambassadors will complete their commitment after bringing 10-15 persons within the 3 month time period. An Ambassador has the option to complete after one term, continue for another 3 month term or move into another role on the team.
Become an Ally

Allies are community members who want to be in a supportive, intentional, befriending relationship with an individual or family working to get out of poverty.

Other ways to help the Southern California Family Support Initiative
  • Be an Ad-Hoc Ally – share your special skill or talent
  • Be a member of your local Community Leadership Team
  • Assist with weekly Child Care/Children’s Programs
  • Be a Community Spokesman – talk about the initiative and recruit others to join
  • Financially Sponsor a Family Leader
  • Facilitate/assist with Training Our Leaders and Allies
  • Behind-the-scenes work – internet research, graphic design, writing
We are actively seeking individuals and groups to be a part of our on-going mission to serve those in need. LSS administers over 50 specialized programs and services throughout the Southern California region. Contact your nearest LSS Center to hear about the local opportunities they have available.
Be a positive role model
Give back to others and help change lives
Transform communities
Spend your time doing something rewarding
Meet new people
Have fun
Learn new skills, share your talents, build your resume

The life you change most – may be your own!