Home / Community / Annual Diamond Ball Raises $575,000 to Benefit Veterans
Staff Sergeant Jason Morgan, United States Air Force (Ret.), and his service dog Rue. (courtesy photo)

Annual Diamond Ball Raises $575,000 to Benefit Veterans

Laguna Niguel CA— A record-breaking 500 attendees convened Veteran’s Day Weekend for The Diamond Ball at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel to raise money for The Canine Companions Veterans Initiative. More than $575,000 was raised to help fund the training of service dogs by Canine Companions.

According to Bruce Brainerd, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and founder of The Diamond Ball and Yappy Hour, “For those veterans making a new start putting their lives back together from an injury or those suffering from PTSD, a Canine Companions service dog provides the assistance they need to regain their independence and we are extremely proud to support Canine Companions and their mission of helping change the lives of our veterans in need.”

This year’s Diamond Ball included a musical performance by the Winners of the X Factor, Alex and Sierra, as well as a lavish four-course dinner prepared by the resort’s Executive Chef Brian Sundeen. The evening also honored Staff Sergeant Jason Morgan, United States Air Force (Ret.), and his service dog Rue, as well as Anne Roberts, recipient of the Geneva Davis Award, recognizing leadership in individuals who have been ambassadors of Canine Companions’ program and its goals to promote and inspire volunteers and volunteer activity. 

Additionally, the evening featured a fast-paced live auction showcasing an array of items – from the Real Posh Pups of Orange County PUParazzi Party to a bronze sculpture by renowned artist Richard MacDonald. The biggest auction item of the evening was an eight-day Tuscan Villas escape to Cortona, Italy, which sold twice, each for $12,500.

Proceeds from The Diamond Ball and Yappy Hour support The Canine Companions Veterans Initiative. With a dramatic increase in wounded veterans, The Veterans Initiative™ provides an opportunity for veterans to regain their independence through the support of Canine Companions assistance dogs. To date, Canine Companions has placed more than 180 assistance dogs to assist veterans, with 37 active teams from the Southwest Region.

Click here to learn more about Canine Companions for Independence

Click here to learn more about The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel