This month we highlight Five Acres supporter and 2015 Gala Chair Sue McGuirl.
Sue is a Senior Director for Fireman’s Fund Entertainment Insurance, a company of Allianz, and has been in the insurance business for thirty years. Sue works on insurance for touring entertainers, live events, film and TV. She was once a figure skating coach and coached synchronized team skating for many years. In her interview below, Sue shares with us how she was first introduced to Five Acres and the ways her involvement has grown over the last few years.
FA: How did you get introduced to Five Acres?
SM: I was transferred from Connecticut to Los Angeles about six years ago. Our neighborhood friend, Michele Hall, introduced me to Five Acres. She invited Bob and me to the Swingin’ on a Star Gala. It was one of my first fundraisers for Five Acres. Shortly after, I joined my first committee for the Grace Center Fashion Show. After that, I had a tour of the main campus and ultimately joined the Program Committee.
FA: How has your commitment and relationship with Five Acres evolved since first getting introduced?
SM: It has evolved! After touring the campus – at Christmastime in 2011 – I knew Five Acres was a special place and I wanted to be part of it. I was most inspired during one of my first Program Committee meetings when I met the director of the Five Acres Therapeutic School, Monique Baca-Geary. She showed us around the school and explained how the school offers an intense therapeutic learning environment for children K-10 with academic, emotional, and behavioral issues. As Monique described her 20-plus year commitment to Five Acres I could see her passion, drive, and pure love for her students and her team. It was overwhelming. It was that day I decided this was a place I wanted to support, not only for the children, but for the staff who support Five Acres’ mission.
FA: What’s next for you and your involvement with Five Acres?
SM: For the next several months my primary focus for Five Acres will be with the Sponsorship Committee for the 2015 Voices for Five Acres gala. Our committee convenes in mid-January and the team is revved up to raise money and awareness for Five Acres – all while having fun! We have a wonderful committee this year already, and we welcome more people if anyone is interested. Any amount of time, talent or treasured donations will help make the gala successful. I am truly amazed by the generosity of all the people who work so hard to make these events spectacular. This year’s gala is no exception!
FA: Would you like to reflect on your service to Five Acres?
SM: Personally, I am overwhelmed at the commitment of so many volunteers and staff members. Their passion is contagious! I hope to be able to keep that momentum going and work to support the volunteers and staff as they strive toward ensuring every child has a safe, loving, and permanent family solution.