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The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Continues to Uphold its Commitment
to Support Animal Charities that Save Lives

DANA POINT, Calif. – December 7, 2014 -- In the second year since its inception, The Diamond Ball, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s annual gala supporting animal charities that save lives, raised $200,000 for the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence, on Saturday, November 8, 2014.

Held Veterans Day Weekend, The Diamond Ball included both a silent and live auction, as well as special recognition of two veterans – Staff Sgt. Sebastian Cila, US Army (Ret.) and his Service Dog Gillian and Matthew Keil and his Service Dog Gus – who have both been recipients of CCI service dogs through the Wounded Veterans Initiative.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who attended and supported The Diamond Ball this year,” said Bruce Brainerd, General Manager. “From our major donors to the individuals who attended the gala evening, we were honored to have everyone come together to support such a deserving organization as the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence. The success of this event reminds us that our responsibility extends beyond the day-to-day operations of the resort. By embracing organizations such as CCI’s Wounded Veterans Initiative, we connect with our community through causes that have meaning for them,” he added.

The evening’s Diamond Sponsors included Vince and Susie Giovinazzo, National Financial Partners, Mikimoto, Best Chauffeured, Coast Magazine, and Strategic Hotels and Resorts.

An extension of the resort’s successful four years of Yappy Hour events, The Diamond Ball is part of the resort’s Community Footprints program. Community Footprints was created to encourage leadership in volunteerism, fundraising, product donations and mentoring programs at a local level. No project is considered too large or too small. Dedicated Ritz-Carlton Ladies and Gentlemen provide a wide range of support and services to their community, including fund-raising for local charities, reading to the blind, preparing and serving lunches at homeless shelters, donating books to schools and volunteering at food banks.

About the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence provides highly-trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities. Through CCI’s Wounded Veterans Initiative, veterans with physical disabilities such as hearing loss, limb amputations and spinal cord injuries are served. Established in 1975, CCI has five regional training centers across the country. CCI is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people.