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 event...to 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!

Friday, October 15, 2010

5th Annual Orange County Domestic Violence Conference

It was an honor to be asked to speak at this years Orange County conference: Domestic Violence Seen Through the Eyes of our Children. This event was held at the beautiful Crown Plaza in Anaheim. What was even more special is that I had the opportunity to bring one of my sisters with me. This was the first time that Megan had ever been to a conferences or had the opportunity to hear me speak to a large group. The morning Keynote speaker was Dr. Lateefah Wielenga. I really enjoyed hearing her speak and share her firsthand experience with domestic violence. She works with teens who have been through similar situations and gives them a foundation to grow and become successful young women in society. Two of the young ladies in her program came to the podium and shared their life experiences with the audience. Both talked about how they are coping with the effects of the abuse and what their plans are for the future. These young ladies were so positive and had such a great outlook on their future. Both were so inspiring and I wish them nothing but success in their future endeavors. After the morning keynote, my mom, Megan, and I chose to attend a workshop called "Our Journey". Denny B. and Norma C. shared their personal stories of growing up in families where domestic violence was present. It was interesting to hear how different yet similar both Norms and Denny's stories were. Even more interesting is how I share the same views and outlooks on my past and how it effects me today. The lunch Keynote speaker was Alyce LaViolette and boy was she funny! She gave us an insight into her style of therapy which involved overcoming being exposed to domestic violence as a child. I really enjoyed her new fresh outlook on therapy rather than the conventional versions that really do not work. After Alyce's keynote was done, it was off to my workshop called "Through my Eyes - Scars that Bandaids Can't Hide". I shared my personal story on the effects of having domestic violence in my life at an early age. I had an open forum where the audience got to ask me personal questions on the struggles and challenges I face daily due to my past. I had a wonderful time and really learned a lot. I think the attendees did as well. Not to mention I felt not a feeling of being not so alone hearing that other people went through similar situations and they too struggle the same way I do. I am so thankful that people are taking an interest in helping children like myself. It is important not to overlook what is happening in our own backyards. Everyone can learn firsthand from individual like those at this conference, and together we can put an end to domestic violence. Thank you to all of the speakers who shared their story, as well as the attendees for taking an interest in this matter. Last but not lease, thank you Angela Santos and the rest of the staff for putting on this event and for asking me to be a part of it. It truly made a difference in my life!

Monday, October 11, 2010

More Disneyland Luggage for Luggage of Love!

What a magical day today was! A few weeks back I purchased 100 pieces of adorable Disneyland luggage from The World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney for Luggage of Love. The cast members from the store who helped me in this endeavor that day all got together after I left and pitched in with their own money to buy the last 30 additional pieces of luggage as well as Micky Mouse key chains and post cards for Luggage of Love. Today I picked them all up and I honestly cannot thank them enough. This random act of kindness makes such a HUGE difference in the life of children across the state of Califonria. Words cannot express my gratitude, this was all so very humbling.

A BIG thank you to all of the contributing cast members:
Patsy, Megan, Jeff, Arya, Gino, Steven, Erika, Tommy, Terri, Anna, Diana, Robin, Xochitl, Pamela, Joey, Danny, Camie, and Jeimy