Winners of the X Factor – Alex & Sierra

A special performance at The Diamond Ball

An Evening of Inspiration Committed to Changing Lives

A Benefit for The Canine Companions Veterans Initiative

About Alex & Sierra

Florida-based Alex & Sierra are a vocal duo featuring Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton, who make romantic, acoustic folk-pop. Formed in 2009, Alex & Sierra are best known as the winners on the third season of the Fox vocal competition The X Factor. Born in 1991, Kinsey grew up in Smyrna Beach, Florida, where he began playing guitar as a teenager. Also born in 1991, Deaton (a Philadelphia native) was raised in Orlando, Florida, where she studied dance from the age of two. Although they knew each other while in high school, Kinsey and Deaton didn’t start performing together until they reconnected while attending the University of Southern Florida. It was there, after discovering they shared both a creative and romantic connection, that they began uploading videos of their cover songs online in 2009. In 2013, they auditioned for and were accepted onto the third season of The X Factor with a slow, sultry reworking of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Fan favorites during their time on the show, Alex & Sierra consistently received a majority of audience votes. After winning The X Factor in December of 2013, they began writing and recording their album, collaborating with such producers as Claude Kelly, Sam Hollander, Steve Mac, and others, including singer/songwriter Jason Mraz. In 2014, they released their debut full-length album, It’s About Us, featuring the singles “Scarecrow” and “Just Kids.”


The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel honored the service and sacrifice made by our nation’s men and women in uniform at The Diamond Ball on November, 7, 2015. The Diamond Ball included both a silent and live auction that raised $230,000 for The Canine Companions Veterans Initiative. The gala also recognized three veterans – Army Major Yancy Baer and Service Dog, Verbena, First Lieutenant Jeffrey Adams and Service Dog, Sharif, and Marine Corporal Justin Crabb and Service Dog, Gnome – who have all been recipients of Canine Companions service dogs through the Veterans Initiative.

“Because of the generosity of so many, we are able to further our mission to raise funds for animal charities that change lives,” said General Manager Bruce Brainerd. “From our major donors to individuals who purchased tickets and attended The Diamond Ball, we were delighted to welcome everyone together in support of such a deserving organization as The Canine Companions Veterans Initiative. On behalf of The Diamond Ball Committee and the Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, we are sincerely thankful of everyone’s support to make a difference in our community and the lives of our veterans. It means the world to us and all the service men and women participating in The Canine Companions Veterans Initiative.”

With a dramatic increase in wounded veterans, The Canine Companions Veterans Initiative provides an opportunity for our veterans to regain their independence through the support of these incredible service animals. To date, Canine Companions has placed 175 assistance dogs with veterans, with 90 active teams that include 37 active teams from the Southwest Region.

Over the past five years the resort’s fundraising efforts through Yappy Hour and The Diamond Ball have resulted in more than $537,000 raised in support of animal-related charities.