Community Invited to 12th Annual Gala to Raise Money for Student Scholarships and Campus Programs

Saddleback College invites all community members to the 12th annual foundation gala on Saturday, March 31st at 6:00 p.m. in the college’s gymnasium.  Tickets include gaming, a silent auction, dinner, music, and no-host cocktails.  This year’s theme is “A Glamorous Night of Stars” and will feature a tribute to five local community “stars” who have significantly donated to the college: The Bernard Osher Foundation, Dorothy Marie Lowry, Kia Motors, Linda Richardson Rice, and the Saddleback College Associated Student Government.

The gala will highlight the work of Saddleback students:  Culinary arts students will prepare and serve appetizers and desserts, fine arts students will accompany music instructor Joey Sellers’ jazz band to provide entertainment, event décor is being done by students of the Entertainment and Theatre Technology program, there will be several pieces painted by students that can be purchased, and a graphics class designed several printed pieces for the event.

Tickets are $100 each, $800 for a table of eight, or $1,000 for a table of 10.  Sponsorships for the event are available at two levels, Gold ($5,000) and Silver ($2,500).   For sponsorship opportunities or to reserve your tickets, please visit the event’s website at, call 949.582.4479, or email

“One of the most important missions of the Saddleback College Foundation is to raise money for students and the annual gala has always been the cornerstone for student scholarships,” said Donna Varner, President of Saddleback College Foundation Board of Governors. “We are so thankful to our many sponsors, especially our Gold Sponsors — Cox Communications, Mercedes Benz of Laguna Niguel and South County Bank — as well as to every individual and business that donated the wonderful items for the silent auction.”

Saddleback College’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year, Nico Melendez, will also be honored at the gala.  After completing his general education at Saddleback College, Mr. Melendez transferred to Chaminade University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in historical and political studies.  He then earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy State University in 2000. Currently, Mr. Melendez is a professional broadcaster/communicator working for the Transportation Security Administration. An officer in the United States Naval Reserve, Mr. Melendez was named the 66th Assembly District Veteran of the Year in 2011.

The Saddleback College gymnasium is located at 28000 Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to (949) 582-4479, or email Business casual attire is recommended; no jeans, please.

Congratulations to Forensics Team Member Andrew Ronquillo for Advancing to Interstate Speech Competition!

Forensics Team member Andrew Ronquillo made Saddleback College history  when he placed first in the persuasion category at the Spring Regional Championships, where he bested several four-year university and community college competitors. With his win, Andrew will represent California at the Interstate Oratory Competition at Emerson College in Boston, the first trip to the national competition for any Saddleback student.

Andrew Ronquillo will Represent California in an Interstate Speech Competition

Coach Larry Radden will accompany Andrew to Boston at the end of April where he will present his speech on international land grabbing. The speech focuses mainly on Africa, but also on Latin America, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and other underdeveloped nations. Andrew’s argument is that land grabs harm the environment and disregard human rights.

Co-Director Larry Radden will accompany Andrew and stated, “Andrew Ronquillo is the pinnacle example of an excellent student, a leader and a Forensics competitor. Andrew was in my Speech I class in the summer of 2010, and he was so eloquent and focused that I knew I must invite him to become a part of our team. Here we are 18 months later and he has reached a goal that the select few will ever achieve as he represents the state of California at interstate oratory.  I look forward to taking Andrew to Emerson College.”

Congratulations and good luck Andrew, the Saddleback community is proud!!!

Source information:  press release entitled “Andrew Ronquillo Makes Saddleback College History at Regional Championships,” distributed by Nina Welch