(left to right) Jan Lupia, Founder & Executive Director of Mama’s House, Anne Silverstein, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, featured luncheon speaker and former White House Press Secretary, and Marshall Silverstein.


By Madeline Zuckerman / Photos by Mark Glassman Photography

Mama’s House, the only residential home within the Coachella Valley providing shelter for women in crisis pregnancies, hosted their 7th Annual HEARTbeat of Love Luncheon to a sold-out crowd of 1,200 guests at the Indian Wells Renaissance Resort & Spa. This much-anticipated luncheon featured Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former White House Press Secretary. A VIP Reception was held the night before at Toscana Country Club for major sponsors, who were photographed with Sanders and who also got to enjoy a lively and entertaining Q & A.

“My Co-chair Patricia McDonnell and I were overwhelmed with the tremendous outpouring of support from the community for this event, for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and for the mission and programs at Mama’s House,” stated Jan Lupia, Founder and Executive Director of Mama’s House. “The response to Sarah coming to the Valley was extraordinary, with tickets selling out within a matter of weeks! We shattered all records with the largest attendance and double the number of sponsors with 50,” Lupia continued.

(left to right) Carol and Chris McGuire, Sherrie Auen, Catharine Reed.

Guests participated in the Silent Auction before entering the ballroom for the plated luncheon. The program included a special tribute to the late Ronald M. Auen, an inspirational story from Autumn, a young woman who went through the Mama’s House program, a musical performance by Dr. Lisa Lindley, a Live Auction featuring such exclusive items as a Pelican Hill Resort package, tickets to see Lady Gaga Live in Las Vegas, a Nashville Country Music Awards Package, a Thermal Speedway Package, Dinner in Toscana’s Wine Cellar, and a Los Cabos Trip.


New Board Director Floyd Rhoades unveiled the Mama’s House Expansion Project he is spearheading. He emphasized Phase I, which involves the acquisition of property with a move-in ready home for 8 residents; laying the infrastructure for up to 7 casitas. The casitas, each for 6 residents, will be added during Phases II and III over 2 to 3 years, which will serve more than 50 mothers and children between the current and new location upon completion.

(left to right) Stacey Mengendoth, Board Member of Mama’s House, Donna Macmillan, and Kathy Valentine.

“Funds raised at the luncheons help offset operating expenses,” stated Jan Lupia. “This year, we received overwhelming support for the expansion, and are on our way to gathering the $1.5 million needed for Phase I of the Capital Campaign,” she continued.

Guests, as well as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, were taken by total surprise when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee appeared on the video screens to personally introduce his daughter! All 1200 guests were on their feet applauding as Sarah Huckabee Sanders stepped to the podium.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017-2019. She is only the third woman and very first Mom to hold the job of White House Press Secretary. President Trump described Sarah as “irreplaceable, a warrior, and a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job.” Sanders has been named one of TIME Magazine’s “40 Under 40,” and has been recognized as one of the best political operatives of her generation.

(left to right) Carol Rochford, Tim Rochford, and Liz Chambers.

“I have been enjoying a little more time at home these days with my kids,” Sanders commented. “I think being a Mom definitely prepared me for the job in The White House, because you learn to say NO, and you tend to say things over and over again to your kids! Working with the President gave me a front row seat in history. I traveled with him to over 30 countries, and had an unbelievable experience when Trump took me to meet Kim Jung-un. I have been to many places all over this country, and I can tell you that you have something very special at Mama’s House. I had the extraordinary opportunity to meet some of the Moms at Mama’s House, and I even got to hold a one-week old baby boy. What an incredible story Autumn, one of the Moms who went through the program at Mama’s House, spoke about today. If Autumn can overcome the obstacles in her life, imagine what she can be and accomplish in her life. I am incredibly proud of President Trump and all he has accomplished. He is the first President in the history of this country to participate in the “MARCH FOR LIFE.” Today, I am reminded of what happens when people stand up for something that is right. Everyone has a part to play. Let’s go out and fight for life. Let all of us be the somebodies who do the right thing!” she continued.

Mama’s House Mission

On July 27, 2013, Mama’s House opened its doors to receive mothers in crisis and their babies. Since that time with unwavering compassion, Mama’s House has been offering a once in a lifetime opportunity for these mothers to conquer fears, face challenges, and get back on track for success. These pregnant mothers who come to Mama’s House with no means of support and no place to go, are realizing they have more options to consider. Since its inception, Mama’s House has served more than 230 women and babies!

Save The Date of February 6, 2021 for the 8th Annual Mama’s House HEARTbeat of Love Luncheon.

For more information on Mama’s House and its Expansion Program, please call Jan Lupia at 760-406-3413 or email her at janlupia@themamashouse.org or visit www.themamashouse.org