By Alex Cordero
Many local residents gathered to join Five Acres during their Desert Oasis Gala to support foster youth and mental health for at risk-families. The evening consisted of live and silent auctions, special raffles, music, and a cocktail reception followed by a gourmet dinner. At forefront, delivering a successful evening were Kirsten Hansen and Matt McIntyre as co-chairs; Natalie Bazarevitsch, Don Boline as opportunity co-chairs; and Shoshana Puccia and Kris Ordaz as auction co-chairs. The Gala was hosted at the home of Jennifer and Shawn McCreight and the evening’s emcee was none other than actor and director Sarah Drew.
“The funds being raised for tonight will help fund all of the Five Acres programs which primarily include foster care, adoption and the mental health services that we offer out of the community,” stated Emily Peters, communications and public relations coordinator at Five Acres.
According to The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) the department provides services to over 30,000 children in any given month. There is also a caseload statistics graph the DCFS provides to reflect the number of children and family cases by city. In Pasadena there were 1,198 cases in 2016 and 1,319 in 2017, according to DCFS. You may visit the website to obtain more information about the staggering numbers of children’s cases at data.lacounty.gov/Children-and-Family/DCFS-Caseload-Statistics-for-2016-and-2017-by-Offi/wu7y-bf2y.
A recognizable guest in attendance enjoying his evening at the gala was Christian Daly, field deputy of LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I’m here representing LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. That’s how I found out about Five Acres; the supervisor has always been a strong supporter.” Daly underscored Five Acres’ important work “supporting not only foster youth but also families, to build stronger families and support families and support children to have a better outcome [than] they normally would if they did not have resources.” Daly concluded by saying, “Five Acres is a wonderful organization; they put on a great party every time. It is a perk of the job to be here tonight not only representing the supervisor but also joining organization for a great cause.”
After the cocktail reception everyone proceeded to the beautiful dinner — setting al fresco — and listened to the master of ceremonies Sarah Drew. “Each time I learned more about their mission to transform what a permanent, loving home looks like for children in Southern California and the more I heard the more I wanted to get involved.” She went on to share that the Five Acres mission speaks to her on a personal level.
“Five Acres is so amazing because it has found a system that really works, to connect children with forever families. I love their commitment to permanency and their passion for avoiding long term institutionalization of these kids. They believe that every child deserves a loving family and they provide comprehensive care to work toward that goal.”
If you would like to learn more about Five Acres or how to get involved with helping foster youth in your community please visit 5acres.org/advocacy-now and find out how you can contribute.