Home > Blog > Celebrating Another Year of Hand to Hand
Hibernia bank, Hand to Hand awardees, and Rose Crelli electric violinst
By Kimberly Kollwitz, Manager of Marketing and Communications

Note: To view all the photos from this event, check out our Facebook photo album.

Thank You For Attending!

Thank you to everyone who attended the 31st annual Hand to Hand Gala on Friday, November 17, 2023! Held in the historic Beaux-Arts venue, the Hibernia, in downtown San Francisco, a positive and lively energy defined the evening of celebration and support for Project Open Hand. 

This year’s theme, Gratitude and Regrowth, reflected on the tremendous support that Project Open Hand has received over the last few years. This support has allowed our organization to continue to grow our capacity, expand our services, and flourish despite many challenges.  

Hundreds of attendees packed the building, enjoying a buffet of gourmet appetizers and hand-crafted cocktails while listening to the sounds of Rose Crelli’s modern electric violin in the Main Hall, and DJ Josh Cheon of Dark Entries Records on the Lower Level. 

Speakers for the event included California State Senator Scott Wiener; The Bread Project’s Chief Development & Strategy Officer, Lynn Luckow; Project Open Hand CEO, Paul Hepfer; Project Open Hand’s Director of Volunteer Services, Diana Contreras; and Project Open Hand’s interim Board Chair, Ruth Yankoupe. Warriors NBA “Hypeman” and professional auctioneer, Franco Finn, kept the crowd engaged throughout the evening as emcee and auctioneer. 

Awards were presented to an amazing group of organizations and individuals, including the Most Outstanding Community Partner Award to the Horizons Foundation, the Community Advocate Award to Plenty, and the Ruth Brinker Visionary Award to long-time volunteer and supporter of Project Open Hand, Jon Borset (posthumously).  

Following the program, guests moved to the Lower Level to enjoy karaoke, more fun activities, and desserts donated by Semifreddis, Hot Cookie, and The Bread Project. Playing everything from The Backstreet Boys to The Commodores, attendees lined up to join pianist Joe Wicht in song and close out the evening on a fun and festive note. 

Special thanks go out to The Bread Project, who we hosted the event in community partnership with, Master Chef Sponsor, the Goldman Foundation, and all of the donors, board members, Project Open Hand staff and volunteers who helped to put on such an amazing event. We can’t wait to see you at Hand to Hand 2024!  

Event Photos 

To view all the photos from this event, check out our Facebook photo album. Special thanks to the team at Chloe Jackman Photography for capturing the energy of the evening!

Sponsorship Opportunities for Next Year's Hand to Hand 2024 

Interested in sponsorship opportunities for next year's Hand to Hand event? Contact us at [email protected]


1921 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 622-0221
Email Us

San Francisco

730 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 447-2300
Email Us