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SAY Soiree held at Santa Rosa's Old Courthouse Square

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Could there be a more appropriate setting than the heart of Santa Rosa for a black-tie gala celebrating the caring that the community extends to its most vulnerable young people?

Old Courthouse Square pulsated Saturday with the can-do vibe and, later, the music of the SAY Soirée. The dinner party raised dollars for the housing, counseling and career readiness initiatives of the nonprofit Social Advocates for Youth.

An elegant affair that for one long night transformed Santa Rosa’s central plaza, the Soirée began with pre-dusk wine, conversation and passed appetizers on the lawn. Representatives of SAY’s core programs invited guests to interact with multimedia installations that illuminated the services offered to struggling teens and young adults.

At the appointed time, everyone moved into the event’s great tent for a dinner by Park Avenue Catering.

A stage program featured an auction led by state Sen. Mike McGuire and an opportunity for everyone to raise a hand and give what they could to sustain the work of Social Advocates for Youth, creator and operator of the SAY Dream Center at the former Warrack Hospital campus at Hoen Avenue and Summerfield Road.

As the Soirée wound down, that was the cue for the rock ’n’ roll band Kingsborough to fire up. Its performance on the square was open to all, a fitting and inclusive final act of an under-the-stars tribute to the power and magic of community.

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