Mark Your Calendar’s for Mizell’s Annual “Stars Among Us” Gala

It’s December 31st as I write this and, after a frantic round of holiday travel back east, I’m heading back to Palm Springs to enjoy a relaxing New Year’s Eve under the bright desert stars, followed by an invigoration January 1st hike up Lykkin trail—one of my absolute favorite ways to kick off a new year, let alone a new decade!

I’ll also be updating my social calendar for 2020 and have got a hot pick for you to add to yours as well—a fun time for a great cause! Mizell Senior Center will present its 15th annual ‘Stars Among Us’ Gala on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Hope to see you on the trails, under the stars, or at “Stars Among Us.” XOKate

The aeronautical theme of the 2020 Gala invites guests to “Take Off with Mizell” to celebrate the organization’s past and elevate its future. A first-class experience awaits every guest, beginning with cocktails at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner service. “In-flight” entertainment will be provided by LA’s hottest show-band, The Zippers, whose music will pull the audience out of their seats to dance the night away. Gala tickets are $350 and event sponsorships are available. Call 760-323-5689 x108 for more information.

Co-chaired by Carol Fragen and Dennis Flaig, Mizell’s 2020 “Stars Among Us” Gala will honor two recipients with its Community Impact award. BIGHORN Cares will be recognized for funding specific projects for local non-profits that demonstrate a need and make a real difference in the quality of life for people in the Coachella Valley. Dr. Timothy Jochen and Mr. Lee Erwin will be recognized for their continuous and generous support of a wide variety of Coachella Valley nonprofit organizations. They are major contributors to more than 40 charities in the Coachella Valley and are great examples of giving back to the community they love.

“We’re excited about the 15th anniversary of what is now regarded as one of the ‘can’t miss’ events of the season,” said Wes Winter, Mizell’s Executive Director. “We are thankful for the support shown to us and look forward to recognizing our honorees for their contributions to and for Coachella Valley residents.”

“Take Off with Mizell” is presented by Eisenhower Health, Patti and Jack Grundhofer and Carol and Dr. Ron Fragen. In addition to the Presenting Sponsors, the Gala is proudly sponsored by Palm Springs Disposal Services, Wintec Energy LLC, Contour Dermatology, Desert Care Network, Steve Tobin & the Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Saks Fifth Avenue, Wells Fargo, Desert Oasis Healthcare and The Desert Sun, among many others. 

About Mizell Senior Center

Now in its 45th year, Mizell Senior Center is a non-denominational, 501(c)3 organization. An acknowledged leader in active aging, Mizell’s multi-faceted network of programs and services is designed to encourage creativity, promote lifelong learning and sustain an active, healthy and engaged lifestyle. Most importantly, Mizell’s welcoming space offers community and kinship for seniors from diverse backgrounds and life experiences.

Mizell Senior Center operates the largest Meals on Wheels Program in the Coachella Valley, serving 200,535 meals in FY 2018-19.  Its staff prepares and delivers 500± nutritious meals every weekday to homebound seniors and to 8 Valley-based senior centers in support of their congregate lunch programs on routes that stretch from Whitewater to the Salton Sea. Mizell’s Meals on Wheels program does not place qualified seniors who are at risk for food insecurity on a waiting list, believing that no senior should have to choose between buying food and filling a prescription.

About BIGHORN Cares

BIGHORN Cares funds specific projects by local non-profit organizations which demonstrate a need and are making a real difference in the community. It is supported by member contributions, 100% of which are passed through to qualified local non-profits. Since its inception, BIGHORN Cares has gifted over $2.3 million through 242 grants. For more information go to

About Dr. Timothy Jochen and Mr. Lee Erwin

Dr. Timothy Jochen and Mr. Lee Erwin have continuously and generously supported more than 40 Coachella Valley nonprofit organizations, including the Mizell Senior Center.  These “star” philanthropists are major contributors to many organizations in the Coachella Valley including AAP – Food Samaritans, Boys and Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley, Desert AIDS Project, Jewish Family Service of the Desert, Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Shelter from the Storm, Well in the Desert, and many more. The Complete Guide to Palm Springs, CA!

About David J Castello

David J Castello is the Editor-in-Chief and Chief Operating Officer for the Castello Cities Internet Network (,,, etc). His debut novel, The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959) was published in 2016.

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