By Andrea Hanson Carter

Fundraiser Benefiting Betty Ford Center Children’s Program to Recognize the Late First Lady’s Daughter and Feature Entertainment by Howie Mandel

The Betty Ford Center is pleased to welcome the return of Susan Ford Bales to the desert on Saturday, January 30, 2016 for a very special honor at the fourth annual ‘Beamer Awards.’

The event, which will begin at 6:00 p.m. and be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage, benefits the Children’s Program at the Betty Ford Center and will feature entertainment by comedian and show business veteran, Howie Mandel.


Susan Ford BalesSusan Ford Bales, the daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford, worked side by side with her mother on projects at the Center since its inception in 1982. Susan was at the forefront of the development of several programs at the Center, including its unique Children’s Program. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Betty Ford Center in 1992, and succeeded her mother as Chairman of the Board from 2005-2010.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to the Coachella Valley to be part of the Beamer Awards,” said Susan Ford Bales. “This special event is vital to the future of the Children’s Program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Mother would be especially pleased to see the Betty Ford Center thriving again through its alliance with the Hazelden Foundation.”

Attendees of the fundraiser will also have the opportunity to meet ‘Beamer’ himself – the animated ‘bulb boy’ who opens up discussions with children coping with addiction in their family. Beamer teaches children various ways to manage their feelings by finding positive people who can help.

“The distinctive ‘Beamer Awards’ was created to recognize individuals who have made a lasting impact on the children, their families and the community,” said Jim Steinhagen, vice president Southwest Region and administrator of the Betty Ford Center. “We have an incredibly generous group of philanthropists and local leaders who get behind this event and make it one of the most magical nights of the year for the Center and its life-changing Children’s Program.”

Howie MandelThis evening of awareness and entertainment will also treat guests to a show by Howie Mandel, whose versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of television, film and stage. He currently serves as one of the judges on NBC’s hit competition series, America’s Got Talent. Previously, Howie received an Emmy nomination for his role as host of the show, Deal or No Deal.

The Beamer Awards Committee is chaired by Madeline Redstone and Jan Salta, joined by committee members Sally and Miles Berger, Annette Bloch, Kathy Valentine and Kelly Dougherty, Georgia and Jerry Fogelson, Helene Galen and Jamie Kabler, Angie Gerber, Wendy and Bob Goodfriend, Gary Hall and Jerry Green, Anne Holland, Terri and Dr. Bart Ketover, Marjorie and Stephen Kulp, Stacie Mathewson, JoAnn McGrath, Donna MacMillan, Dianne and Bill Moss, Jody Parker, Kevin Parker, Catharine Reed, Stacey and Greg Renker, Marion and Bob Rosenthal, Phyllis and Gary Schahet, Lori and Aubrey Serfling, Elizabeth and Johan Sorensen, Sally St. John, Sue and Ambassador William Timken, Marguerite and David Wilson, and In Memoriam: Lois Horvitz.

At the Betty Ford Center Children’s Program, kids talk openly in a safe, supportive environment and are encouraged to express their feelings about this cunning, baffling disease. The Children’s Program is open to the public, and parents do not have to be patients at the Betty Ford Center in order for their children to participate.

“The continued success and growth of the Children’s Program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is essential to helping families who are struggling with addiction,” added Susan Ford Bales. “The Betty Ford Center offers a unique safe haven for kids to share their feelings and receive vital counseling in their life journeys toward the families’ healing.”

To get involved with a sponsorship or to purchase tickets for the 2016 Beamer Awards, go to or call (760) 773-4105. To learn more about the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, go to