Carmel Valley fundraiser supports Cancer for College, former CCA teacher’s nonprofit

Cancer for College founder Craig Pollard, Stacy Pollard, Yamia Benhaim and Asaf Benhaim.
(SidebySide Cinema)

On April 22, Yamia and Asaf Benhaim hosted the “Tacos, Tequila, & Totally Inspirational Cancer Survivors”, a fundraiser for Cancer for College at their Carmel Valley home.

Cancer for College is a nonprofit organization founded by former Canyon Crest Academy teacher Craig Pollard. Pollard, a two-time cancer survivor and double amputee, created Cancer for College to provide scholarships for cancer patients to help them afford college after facing overwhelming medical debt. Thanks to their contributions and the support of friends and attendees, the event raised over $30,000.

“Craig Pollard made an incredible impact not only on our boys but on all his students at Canyon Crest Academy,” said Yamia Benhaim, whose sons Nathan and Noah were Pollard’s students. “It felt only natural for our family to support Mr. Pollard and his nonprofit organization.”

CCA students Noah Benhaim, Shaan Garg and Daniella Addeo-Cortes, whose business supports Cancer for College.
CCA students Noah Benhaim, Shaan Garg and Daniella Addeo-Cortes, whose business supports Cancer for College.
(SideBySide Cinema)

Over 100 guests enjoyed a festive atmosphere with entertainment from mariachis, tequila tasting donated by Cierto Tequila, and food provided by Casanova Tacos. A classic car donated by Caesar Event Rentals sat in the middle of the living room adorned with a beautiful display of tapas and fruits. One of the highlights of the evening was hearing the inspiring stories of three childhood cancer survivors and scholarship recipients Sana Moezzi, Sofia Pantis and Caleb Kobriger.

Craig Pollard, former CCA teacher and founder of Cancer for College.
(SideBySide Cinema)

The fundraiser drew donations from businesses such as Disney, Taylormade, PWSwim and many others. This year CCA students Noah Benhaim, Daniella Addeo-Cortes and Shaan Garg also created a business selling succulents and candles in recycled coconut shells, donating the proceeds to Cancer for College.

“Who would have thought my choosing to teach for a few years would end up providing an opportunity for five cancer survivors to attend college,” Pollard said. “The Benhaim family has been incredible in their dedication to this cause, and we are grateful for their friendship and support.”

Cancer for College scholarship recipients and cancer survivors Caleb Kobriger, Sana Moezzi and Sofia Pantis.
(SideBySide Cinema)