By Sharon Stello
A tropical-themed soiree benefiting Laura’s House, which provides shelter and services for victims of domestic violence, raised nearly $400,000 on Oct. 10 at Island Hotel. More than 350 supporters attended the Bahama Nights gala, which featured dinner, music, live and silent auctions, awards and a guest speaker’s moving story of survival. Domestic violence victim Nancy Tran shared her recollections of the traumatic night her ex-boyfriend doused her in gasoline and set her on fire, causing physical and emotional scars that she still bears. In addition to her compelling remarks, the event—emceed by award-winning journalist Carolyn Johnson of NBC Channel 4—included a video about families who have been helped by the Laura’s House children’s art therapy program. Also during the night, awards were presented to Robin McGraw of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit When Georgia Smiled: The Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation, for her advocacy work; Troy Marston, a volunteer with the Laura’s House Courthouse Advocacy Program; and PIMCO, for its financial donations and volunteer support through the years.