The Drake Gives fundraiser – a roaring success

Memorable beyond measure, The Drake Gives’ annual namesake fundraiser brought together dynamic community leaders and difference makers who are passionate about creating sustainable impact in the lives of our underserved youth through music education.

Alec Glasser, founder of The Drake restaurant in Laguna and its philanthropic nonprofit, collaborated with 2024 co-chairs Lourdes Nark, Urvashi Patel, James Cueva and Linda Young, who worked tirelessly to help cultivate an evening that fused together the finest cuisine, inspiring ambience and soulful musical talent. Net proceeds from the event of $125,000 will be donated to Save The Music Foundation to further support the music education programs in Orange County’s Anaheim High School District for music instruction and instruments.

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Photos by Frank Salas

Design by Elite OC Productions

This year’s decadent menu curated by Chef Paul Gstrein included a multi-course culinary experience featuring a caviar and wine pairing. Parson James, a widely acclaimed singer and songwriter who rose into the spotlight with his hit single, “Stole the Show,” a collaboration with the famed producer Kygo, treated guests to a remarkable set including a few songs that have yet to be released. Founder, Alec Glasser, was proud to introduce Tim Pham, a recent graduate from Anaheim School District, who shared his heartwarming story of how music has helped shape and empower him as a young man. The Drake Gives awarded Pham a $3,000 scholarship as he now continues his education at UCLA.

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The Drake Gives Founder Alec Glasser

Henry Donahue, executive director for Save The Music Foundation, also took to the stage to share how The Drake Gives has been instrumental in expanding music education in our local public schools here in Orange County. “The Drake Gives has been an essential partner in Save The Music’s work building and growing the school music ecosystem in Orange County and Southern California,” said Donahue. “Starting with the wonderful events at The Drake and then growing to investments in new school music programs across the region, The Drake Gives is ensuring that a generation of students can thrive via some of those same experiences.”

Director of Arts Education at the Anaheim Union High School District Brian Belski shared, “As with most public school systems, funding for music education can be challenging to come by. The Drake Gives has been instrumental in empowering our district with vital resources that are helping keep the music alive and thriving. Music has an impact on the mind, body and soul of each student that is irreplaceable. Together we are helping create positive change one student at a time.”

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Director of Arts Education at the Anaheim Union High School District Brian Belski

The Drake Gives is honored to have received the support of additional dedicated sponsors including South Coast Plaza, Caviar Express, Cueva Entertainment, Tarsadia Foundation, Irvine BMW, Versace, The Drake Restaurant and UCI/The Drake Gives Center for the Power of Music. Costa Mesa’s world-class shopping destination shared, “South Coast Plaza is pleased to support The Drake Gives and their mission of providing underserved youth with access to music education in our community.” The sensational décor and event design was curated by Elite OC Productions.

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(L-R) Co-Chairs and The Drake Gives Founder James Cueva, Urvashi Patel, Alec Glasser, Linda Young and Lourdes Nark

The Drake Gives is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation that supports projects which use the power of music to improve peoples’ lives and enhance community well-being, including underserved youth in public schools with music education, materials and instruments. Music has a profound impact on a child’s academic and social emotional development. The Drake Gives is dedicated to ensuring that all children, irrespective of their socioeconomic status, have access to music education. The Founder of The Drake and The Drake Gives, Alec Glasser, learned to play the saxophone in a public school when he was 12. That experience profoundly shaped his life in ways he never dreamed possible – his wish is for all kids to be able to have the same opportunity in their public-school education. The Drake Gives is also proud to be collaborating with the University of California, Irvine in its groundbreaking initiative, the Center for the Power of Music.

For more information, go to www.thedrakegives.org.


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