The St. Joseph Center in Venice and movie producer Suzanne Todd co-hosted the “Gingerbread for Good” party Thursday, December 10th to raise awareness and resources for the center.

Approximately 100 guests, including some celebrities, attended the event to support the social service agency that helps low-income and homeless members of the community find sustainable solutions toward self-sufficiency.

Valerie Van Galder, newly appointed St. Joseph Center board member and movie marketing guru, organized the event with Todd, producer of such films as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Across the Universe.” The guest list included actresses Cheryl Hines, Heather Thomas and Kathy Najimy, as well as producers Gigi Levangie, Lauren Shuler Donner and Jennifer Todd.

All attendees were encouraged to donate gently used items such as clothing, designer accessories, collectibles, and house wares that the center can sell through its thrift store, which will be moving to a new Santa Monica location in the spring, a center spokeswoman said.

“I’m so proud to contribute to an organization that is making such a positive and productive impact on the community,” said Van Galder, a marketing consultant who joined the center’s board in September. “It was fantastic that our friends and colleagues had the opportunity to celebrate the holidays while discovering a place that does so much good.”

In the spirit of the holiday season, guests decorated gingerbread cookies as they enjoyed donated Sprinkles cupcakes and food from a local food truck.

“It’s inspiring to see this level of new support at a time when some very vulnerable people in our community need us more than ever,” St. Joseph Center Executive Director Dr. Va Lecia Adams said.

All profits from the center’s thrift store support intervention, prevention and education programs that help low-income and homeless individuals and families on the Westside get back on their feet.

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