Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Princess Party Olivia!

This weekend my team of helpers and I traveled to the beautiful Sherwood Hills Lake Club for a "Just Because" princess party for Olivia. Princess Olivia, her friends, and I had a lovely lunch, followed by hair and makeup, a few stories, and of course cupcakes!!! The little girls were thrilled to play with my crowns and go through their "goodie bags" at the end of the party. We even did a conga line (Princess Olivia's idea of course). Olivia's pink dress was amazing and she looked like the bell of the ball. Thank you so much Princess Olivia for spending the day with me, I had such a fun time! May your tiara shine and all your dreams come true.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Nutcracker Ballet

This past weekend I was asked to make a special guest appearance in the Ventura County Ballet Company's November production of The Nutcracker. It was held at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, and all three of the performances were packed. I played the part of a "party parent" in ACT I. I can not tell you how much fun it was to be able to sit backstage and watch all that goes into one of these productions...I had no clue what so ever that any one person could have 3 "change-ups" in one show. The amount of time and dedication by each dancer is amazing. The costumes alone are detailed to a T. I was honored to meet some of the nicest people who dedicate their time to this production each and every year. A gracious thank you to the Ventura Ballet Company for this wonderful opportunity. It was truly an experience.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Please join me this weekend and support the Ventura County Ballet Company as they perform The Nutcracker

The holiday season is coming soon, so don't miss seeing the classic story of The Nutcracker, brought to the stage by The Ventura County Ballet Company with the Ventura College Orchestra.

Oh, and me too!!! I have the honor of participating during the "party scene". Hope to see you there!

Performances are scheduled for Saturday, November 20th and Sunday, November 21st. You can buy your tickets online. Go to the Ventura County Ballet Company website and click the Performances tab.

Saturday, November 20th at 2PM
Tickets: $25/$17/$12 or $10
Saturday, November 20th at 7PM
Tickets: $25/$17/$12 or $10
Sunday, November 21st at 2PM
Tickets: $25/$17/$12 or $10

Thursday, November 18, 2010

C.A.S.A of Ventura County 25th Silver Anniversary Dinner

This evening at the Courtyard Marriott in Oxnard, CASA of Ventura County celebrated its 25th Silver Anniversary with an amazing dinner. Some of the dignitaries that attended were Appellate Court Justice Steve Perren, Retired Judge Melinda Johnson, Author Jane Alvarez, Director of BB&BS Lynne West, Oxnard Councilman Bryan MacDonald, Author Lissa Coffey, Mayor of Moorpark Janice Parvin, and Berta Steele (Founder of CASA in Ventura County). It was an honor to be asked by Andrea Visual, Project Manager of CASA Ventura County, to attend as a special guest. I want to personally thank every single CASA who has ever kindly donated their time, love, and support for these children. Your effort is making a huge difference. Being a former foster child, I truly wish that I had a CASA of my very own. The evening was educating not to mention memorable and was the most perfect way to celebrate the success of this
amazing program. Thanks for everyone for caring for children such as myself, you are truly making a difference in the lives of these children!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kiwins Fall Rallly

I was honored this weekend to attend the Kiwins Knott's Fall Rally as the guest speaker. I was invited by Bernadat Lim and the current Kiwin's 32nd District Governor Jennifer Zhao. Jennifer initiated Project F.A.C.T.S which stands for Foster And Care Through Students. It is the 2010-2011 Governor’s Project and with the goal to educated and raise money for organizations helping foster children and provide guidance through mentoring. Their rally was held at Knotts Berry Farm's Independence Hall. All of the Kiwins from Southern California chapters attended. I honestly had no idea what to expect, but this was one of the most exciting events I have ever attended. The different chapters were so enthusiastic, and I am so happy to have had the chance to share my storyand the foundation I champion "Luggage of Love" with these amazing young volunteers. Thank you so much to Kiwins for having me as a speaker and for opening your heart to children such as myself. It is important that these children not be forgotten. Thanks again for doing your part!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Radio Interview with Bo B95.1 and the Ballerinas of The Ventura Ballet Company

The Ventura County Ballet Company is a non-profit organization bringing world class, professional dance performances to our community. This November 20th and 21st they will be holding their annual show, "The Nutcracker Ballet". This morning Bo Jaxon had Chelsa, Sammantha, Rachel and myself on air with him to talk about this upcoming performance. You may be wondering what caused Bo and I to develop an interest in ballet. Well that is because we are both going to be guest ballerinas in the show! So come on out, support the community, watch a great show and have a good time.

Performances are scheduled for Saturday, November 20th and Sunday, November 21st. You can buy your tickets online. Go to the Ventura County Ballet Company website and click the Performances tab.
Saturday, November 20th at 2PM
Tickets: $25/$17/$12 or $10
Saturday, November 20th at 7PM
Tickets: $25/$17/$12 or $10
Sunday, November 21st at 2PM
Tickets: $25/$17/$12 or $10

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2010 Youth Philanthropist of the Year Award

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is constantly working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. National Philanthropy Day®, November 15, is the special day set aside to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy—and those people active in the philanthropic community—have made to our lives, our communities and our world. This year was the 50th Anniversary of AFP and the event was held at The Ventura Beach Marriott. The Master of Ceremonies was KCLU General Manager, Mary Olson. I was honored at this ceremony as the 2010 Ventura Youth in Philanthropy for my efforts with Luggage of Love and the other service organizations I help out with on a continual basis. My amazing "forever family" attended to watch me receive this prestigious award as well as the Dean family. In fact, Mr. Geoff Dean presented me with my award! I was very touched by his introduction and thoughtful words, but more importantly that he and his wife, Marlene, got to share this special day with me and my family. It was very inspiring to hear about all the amazing work that other Philanthropist who were honored had done within their community and abroad. I want to thank the Association of Fundraising Professionals for this award, words cannot express the gratitude that I feel, this means so much to me. Listed below are all of the honorees that were honored along with me.

Santa Barbara Philanthropist of the Year - Jackie Inskeep
Ventura Philanthropist of the Year - Barbara Meister
Santa Barbara Volunteer of the Year - Tresha Sell
Ventura Volunteer of the Year - Rosemary Allison
Santa Barbara Youth in Philanthropy - Katy Villanueva
Ventura Youth in Philanthropy - Dedria Brunett
Fundraiser of the Year - R. Stephen Wheatly

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Many Mansions Bowls of Hope Project

Today was a very special day! My mom and I were able to share our joy of giving back to the homeless with my two good friends, Natallie Dianna and Kathy Campagnoni. We attended a fundraiser for Many Mansions which provides well-managed, service-enriched, affordable housing to low-income residents of Ventura County and its surrounding communities. The Bowls of Hope Project is designed to spread awareness of the need for affordable housing in Ventura County and the importance of on-site services and programs provided by Many Mansions. Five hundred ceramic bowls were created by local artists for guests to keep as a reminder of the day. Attendees enjoyed delicious soups and breads that were donated by local restaurants and served by dignitaries and civic leaders. We enjoyed live music, browsed the children's art gallery, participated in the silent action, met many nice people, and supported an amazing cause. Thank you to both Kathy and Natallie for not only accompaning me to such a wonderful event but more importantly sharing in giving back to the community in which we live. You both are great friends and l love you dearly.
To donate to Many Mansions log onto

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Casa Pacifica Angels presents...Spotlight on Style Fashion Show and Luncheon

This Saturday I attended the Casa Pacifica Angels Spotlight on Style Fashion Show and Luncheon at Four Seasons in Westlake Village. This event included a champagne reception, luncheon, Runway Fashion Show, and an enticing silent auction. The venue was decorated fabulously. There was a long runway in the center of the room and each table had a manikin ladies head with a beautiful hat that had been decorated especially for the event. These hats were raffled off to raise money for Casa Pacifica, and I can tell you that everyone wanted a hat so the ticket buying was fierce. The event had gorgeous models, fabulous boutique items, and delicious food (especially the bundt cake...YUM!). More importantly though was the reason why all of these wonderful people got together for this special support Casa Pacifica a place that is near and dear to my heart. Casa Pacifica is an emergency care shelter that helps abused, neglected, and severely emotionally disturbed children in Ventura County. It is also the shelter that gave me a new beginning and that continues to help children in similar situations as mine. It was so nice to see so many familiar faces at each of these events, and it warms my heart that so many people share in the same interest of helping children who really need a chance at a new beginning. That is why it was such an honor to speak on behalf of children before the fashion show. I shared my story with the attendees and encouraged each of them to sponsor a child. It takes a lot of money to run a facility like Casa Pacifica yearly and I can speak from experience how vital Casa Pacifica is for children like myself. After I spoke it was time for the male and female models to strut their stuff on the runway. All of the gowns were to die for, however my favorite part by far was seeing Geoff Dean, Chet Schreiber, Jonathan Severn and Mike and Tyson Siedman strut their stuff in order to raise money for such an amazing shelter. During the days events, Stephanie Caffee, Special Events & Angels and Amigos Coordinator, was honored for her volunteer work. Bill and Susan Burgos were also Special Honorees for their incredible work with Casa Pacifica. And my mom, sister, and I won a beautiful hat centerpiece to take home. Thanks to everyone who attended and continues to support Casa Pacifica, you are truly make a difference in a life of a child!