Volunteers with Heart come together on Memorial Day Weekend to Make a Difference in OC Children’s lives!
Organizer: This family-friendly fundraising event was organized by OCCares, a volunteer organization with a vision of promoting Unity, Charity and Compassion in Orange County. OCCares is fiscally sponsored by Charitable Ventures of Orange County. The organization was founded by Dr. Katherine Ahn in Huntington Beach California on February 26, 2013. Dr. Ahn and her husband Dr. Peter Newen operate The Image Center in Huntington Beach California and is donating space at their center for OCCares’ meetings & operation. The board members are: Kenneth S. August, esq, Michael Kim, Karen Thomas, Anita Gibson and Angella Voskanian. The event planning committee members were: Sandra Pena, Courtney Eskew, Alina Tolan, Mary Ann Pedersen, Dori Coetzee, Ashley Coetzee, Christina Voskanian & the 6 board members. There were over 40 volunteers in total at the event. See below for more information on OCCares’ Vision.
OCCares Motto: You can Make a Difference!
Benefiting Organizations: Dr. Riba's Health Club (www.drribashealthclub.org), Giving Children Hope (www.gchope.org) and The Joyful Child Foundation (www.thejoyfulchild.org). The guests and event participants were inspired by the stories and mission presentations of the three organizations. Dr. Patricia Riba shared with the audience her passion for helping prevent childhood obesity and its co-morbities, Michael Kim shared how Giving Children Hope is helping over 1,500 children by delivering food weekly through their “We Got your Back” program, and Erin Runnion had the audience in tears with her story of how her daughter Samantha Runnion’s death 10 years ago motivated her to start The Joyful Child Foundation that is at the forefront of preventing crimes against children.
Touching Story from the event: As the evening drew to a close, one of the performers Sydney Danci desired to buy 1 raffle ticket in hopes that she could win the coveted raffle prize, the iPAD! When her co-dancer friend Elise Newen discovered that Sydney did not have the $5 for the raffle ticket, she bought her the ticket. As the girls were praying that Sydney will win the iPAD, the emcee announced that Sydney Danci was the winner of the iPAD. Sydney was happy beyond imagination! Sydney worked hard in not only preparing for her dance performance for the event but she worked even harder at supporting OCCares by going door to door in her neighborhood selling tickets and getting donation for OCCares. Everyone agreed that the winning lot could not have fallen on a better more sweeter person and “It is more blessed to give then to receive” had a very happy ending!
Food: Healthy food booths offered delicious vegetarian meals for the event guests and participants: Jamba Juice smoothie, Teavanna Tea, Nespresso espresso, vegetarian selections from Royal Restaurant & Banquet, tropical drink, fruit cups & vege hotdogs from the Garden Grove SDA Tonga Mission group and vegetarian dishes from OLAH (Optimal Lifestyle and Health) health and cooking program at Newenwellness.
Silent Auction & Raffle: There were many generous donors that made this event possible. The top raffle prize was an iPAD that was donated by Best Buys which Sydney Danci won*. The list of the donors and sponsors can be found on www.occares.org
Entertainment: The audience were in awe as at the beautiful music, acts and dancing were displayed. Performers included, vocal artists Charmaine & Jonathan Thulin, talented young pianist Loren Kim, dancers from Southland Ballet Academy (Alice Danci, Bella Hoy, Elise Newen, Sarah Grant, Sammy Werle, Gaby Voskanian, Sydney Danci & Silvie Lybbert), vocalists Elise Newen and Keri Lynn Adams, actress Andrea Thomas, Garden Grove Drama Team under the direction of Sonny Angel Boloico and the Band of Friends “Galvantics” from CDM Guitar & Music Academy. More information on the performers can be found on www.occares.org
Emcees: Dr. Tracy Kemble & Pastor Garrett Speyer held the attention of the audience with their wit, intelligence and humor. Dr. Tracy Kemble is a psychologist, author, speaker, an internationally recognized expert in life empowerment, founder of “Manifest This”, and founder of the WIN (Women In Need) Foundation and its supporting organization Mrs Globe Pageant. Pastor Garrett Speyer is a dynamic, fun and caring youth pastor from Garden Grove SDA Church who started “The Way”, a youth ministry aimed at making life fun and meaningful.
Special Guests: Councilman Chris Phan from the City of Garden Grove and Young Kim from the office of Congressman Ed Royce attended the event and encouraged all those present at the event. Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Mayor Bruce Broadwater provided welcome letters and Supervisor Nguyen and Honorable Michelle Steel Park provided proclamations for the three benefiting organizations. We are grateful for their support.
Event Feedback: The feedback from the event has been wonderful. Many who attended the event told Dr. Ahn how wonderful the music and the children’s performances were and how they have been touched and inspired by the organizations that OCCares is raising funds for. The children and the volunteers that participated in the event felt very blessed to have been a part of this beautiful event. Everyone is talking about when the next event will be and how EVERYONE in OC should come and experience what they have experienced.
It was a memorable day on a Memorial Day weekend!