Since 2017, the community has rallied around some of the city’s most inspirational women in an event that’s raised $50,000 for the Turlock Salvation Army over the years. After being forced to host a drive-thru fundraiser last year, four new divas will return to the Carnegie Arts Center next month to be honored in a celebration worthy of neon lights.
The Divas on Broadway event was started as a way to recognize women who go above and beyond to give back to the Turlock community, with this year’s sixth annual event featuring a luncheon catered by Cuts Steakhouse. Attendees are treated to a champagne and wine welcome, fashion show, opportunity drawing and a live auction, all in an effort to support the Salvation Army’s summer camp for children.
The icing on the cake, however, is being served by some of the city’s most dashing men as waiters — “Divas on Broadway” aprons and all.
“We’re so excited to be back in person, and every year we always wonder how we’ll top the year before. We have some amazing women in the community and we always are able to have four great honorees,” Divas chairwoman Lana Casey said. “It just goes to show that we have some really strong women in Turlock who care about their community by serving others, and that this city has very good, positive women as role models.”
This year’s event will honor Erin Nelson, Cathie Bernardi, Dianna Bettencourt and Kuljit Bains. Nelson is the founder of Jessica’s House in Turlock, which provides grief support for children and families dealing with loss. Bernardi and her family started the Kayla Bernardi Bee Positive Foundation, which hosts an annual fun run and raises money for community organizations.
Bettencourt is known not only for raising the most funds ever by a contestant on Dancing with the Turlock Stars, but also for her hand in countless charities and organizations in town, including the Salvation Army. Bains has selflessly organized blanket drives for Valley Children’s Hospital over the years, first making the blankets then pivoting to fundraising for new, store-bought blankets during the pandemic.
“There are so many things that these ladies do, it’s incredible,” Casey said.
Casey hopes that the community can come together at this year’s event to raise another $10,000 for the Salvation Army.The Divas on Broadway event will take place from noon to 2:30 p.m. March 12 at the Carnegie Arts