Portland, March 12th, 2015. Serendipity Center hosted it’s annual benefit dinner and auction, Pearls of Hope, at the Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland. Pearls of Hope master of ceremonies Tony Martinez of Good Day Oregon celebrated with Serendipity Center graduate speaker Mariah Roelfs. (photo credit Julianna Patrick)

Serendipity Center board secretary Jeff Austin with Phanna Pich.

Serendipity Center board secretary Jeff Austin with Phanna Pich.

The 230 guests in attendance raised their paddles to generously support Oregon’s oldest and largest therapeutic school. Located in southeast Portland, since 1979 Serendipity Center has served children and young adults with severe cognitive and behavioral disabilities. Board member Wendy Ricketts charied this year’s event, which raised $133,000 to continue supporting Serendipity Center’s mission of providing the best environment for students to heal, learn, and become productive members of their communities.

Serendipity Center

MC Tony Martinez  kept the Pearls of Hope attendees in good spirits throughout the silent and live auction portion of the evening. The event culminated after dinner with a stirring, emotional speech from Serendipity graduate Mariah Rolefs. The powerful speech earned her a well-deserved standing ovation that left many in the audience searching for a tissue and thinking about how they could do more to support the kids.

Serendipity Center 1