Shelter to Soldier to host 10th anniversary ‘Be the Light’ charity gala Aug. 13

Krystal Graves with “Tiger”, Garick Stenseth with “Thistle” at last year’s Shelter to Soldier gala.
Krystal Graves with “Tiger”, Garick Stenseth with “Thistle” at last year’s Shelter to Soldier gala.
(Robert McKenzie)

Shelter to Soldier is hosting its 10th anniversary fundraising event at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 5 p.m.-9 p.m., with a fundraising goal of $180,000 to continue its dedication to rescue dogs and military veterans in need through its psychiatric service dog, emotional support animal and therapy dog training programs.

Individual tickets to attend the gala event are available for purchase at $300 per person for guests to enjoy small bites, wine, beer and specialty cocktails accompanied by live music, silent and live auction (emceed by Clint Bell), followed by seated dinner with dessert. Guests will observe graduated service dogs as well as service dogs in training and will have the opportunity to interact with a team of therapy dogs and Shelter to Soldier Canine Ambassadors for photo opportunities and affection. Highlights of the live auction include: two round-trip tickets on Alaska Airlines; a one-week stay at a residential suite in Aspen, Colo., and a custom surfboard by Dark Arts Boards. Deadline to purchase tickets and RSVP to attend the event is Aug. 5.

COX Communications is underwriting the event as the Decennial Presenting Sponsor of the STS Be the Light Charity Gala alongside additional sponsors UNITE and Avion Law, and event partners Redfearn & Associates, Ranch and Coast Magazine and 100.7 Big FM.

Michael Ford, senior specialist, PA community relations at Cox Charities, remarks, “Cox is passionate about supporting our local veterans, both as an employer, and as a partner through great organizations like Shelter to Soldier. We proudly congratulate Shelter to Soldier on 10 years of incredible impact and looking forward to them continuing their mission of “Saving Lives, Two at a Time.”

Shelter to Soldier Founder and President Graham Bloem
Shelter to Soldier Founder and President Graham Bloem, Co-Founder and Vice President Kyrie Bloem at last year’s Shelter to Soldier gala.
(Robert McKenzie)

Additional event sponsorship opportunities are still available, with a deadline of June 22. The Platinum Sponsorship at $20,000 provides two tables of eight VIP guest tickets and many brand exposure opportunities that make a significant impact in the lives of the homeless dogs and veterans served by the STS program. Gold, Silver and Bronze Sponsorship levels include VIP guest entry and exciting sponsor visibility options. New additions to sponsorship categories this year include Ray of Light Sponsorships beginning at $2,500 as well as $1,500 Radiance Sponsors, which helps to underwrite unique lighting features reflecting the theme of the Be the Light gala. An exclusive opportunity to be a Beverage Sponsor allows the donor the creativity to underwrite a specialty cocktail (named by the sponsor), for guests to enjoy at the event alongside wine and beer provisions. Interested parties are encouraged to visit to download the gala sponsorship package or call Kyrie’ Bloem at 760-870-5338 to discuss a donation.

“Our Annual Be the Light Gala is a wonderful celebration of the impact the Shelter to Soldier program has had in the lives of local rescue dogs and veterans, an opportunity to raise awareness for veterans’ mental health, and a platform to raise life-saving funds that help Shelter to Soldier answer the call for more veterans and homeless pups who need STS services. The event is a refreshing reminder of all that we can achieve when we work together. We are thrilled to be back under the stars at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe and we look forward to celebrating the evening with returning donors and new guests”, states Kyrié Bloem, co-founder and vice president of Shelter to Soldier.

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe is located at located at 5951 Linea del Cielo, Rancho Santa Fe.

For more information on Shelter to Soldier, visit To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call 760-870-5338 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility.