Mick and Louise Ukleja, strong supporters of CSULB, its athletic association and the local community, will be honored with the inaugural "Diamond Award" at the 49er Athletic Association's "Jewels of the Night" fundraiser on Saturday, May 17. "
Mick Ukleja is the founder and president of LeadershipTraQ, a leadership consulting firm, and founder of the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership at CSULB. Ukleja holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy, a master's degree in Semitic languages and a Ph.D. in theology.
Louise Ukleja is the founder of Opportunity Schools, an educational non-profit that provides onsite consulting and training to private schools to enable them to support students with learning challenges in achieving academic success. She holds a degree in business administration from Ohio University.
The 14th annual Jewels of the Night will again be held in the Walter Pyramid, which features the "Ukleja Room," so named years ago in recognition of the couple's past support. The silent auction begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and a live auction beginning at 8:15 p.m. Live entertainment for the anticipated 1,200 guests starts at 9:15 featuring "Stone Soul," five Southern California performers known for "The best of 60s soul and Motown."
Among the 60 restaurants providing samples of their popular flavors are 49ers Tavern, B.J.'s Pizza Grill and Brewery, Bristol Farms, Caffe La Strada, di Piazza's, Finbars Italina Kitchen, Fora, Frisco's CarHop Bar and Grill, Gladstone's, Hof's Hut, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Kelly's, Joe's Crab Shack, Joe Jost's, Lasher's, Legend's, Marie Callendar's, Naples Rib Company, New York's Upper Crust Pizza, Parker's Lighthouse, Polly's Gourmet Coffee, Shenandoah at the Arbor, Smooth's Sports Grille, Spaghettini Italian Grill, The Small Café, Walt's Wharf and Wyder's Cider.
Recent newcomers include Acapulco Mexican Restaurant, Avenue #3 Pizza and Catering, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., California Pizza Kitchen, Cha Cha's Caribbean Fusion, Chick-Fil-A, Cirivello's, El Torito Restaurant, Fortune Cookies, Frenchy's Bistro, Gaslamp, GuestHouse Hotel, Island's Restaurant, Johnny Reb's Southern Roadhouse, Long Beach Marriott, McKenna's on the Bay, Pete's at the Beach and Tantalum.
Mari Hooper and Barbara Loureiro are co-chairs of this year's fundraiser, benefitting student-athlete scholarships. More than 50 percent of the 300 student-athletes at CSULB posted GPAs of 3.0 or better. They compete in 18 varsity sports and are continuously among the top teams in the nation.
Tickets are $100 per person, which includes dinner and drinks. To purchase tickets or donate auction items, call the 49er Athletic Office at (562) 985-4662, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jewelsofthenight.com for more details.