- Business Advocacy
Festively be-decked community leaders, business owners and executives, and civic club members from around the San Gabriel Valley filled the Lakeview Room at Almansor Court on a recent sunny October afternoon to support the YMCA of West San Gabriel Valley’s 34th Annual Celebrity Waiters Luncheon + Fundraiser. Amid splashes of autumn color and costumed local celebrities pouring tea and serving lunches to fellow donors, the much-loved event had a lifeline mission: funding the Y’s year-round programs for the growing number of at-risk San Gabriel Valley children and families facing homelessness, hunger, and the menace of poverty.
State Assemblymember Ed Chau, lead celebrity waiter and champion of the Y’s soon-to-open Children’s Center, was the keynote speaker. He reminded the crowd of 270 that it was the YMCA of WSGV’s long commitment to in-need children and families that persuaded the California Department of Education to award its first-ever building construction grant to a YMCA for the new Children’s Center. The Y provides programs such as after-school child care with pick-up at SGV schools, 11-hour summer day camp, water safety and swim lessons to prevent childhood drownings, and a week-long camp experience in the San Bernadino National Forest at Camp Ta Ta Pochon.
“The Children’s Center construction grant is the gift of building we have always needed for our kids and families, but to fund all the programs, services, and equipment we will provide at the center is up to us,” said Y CEO Valarie Gomez. “That’s the challenge of such a gift — how will we match the faith and hope of the new center? We do this by joining together to fundraise for YKids lifeline, whole-child equity programs for the fast-growing number of homeless, hungry, and at-risk children and families in the San Gabriel Valley.”
Master of Ceremonies Mark Paulson paid tribute to the current Y board of directors, including former Alhambra Mayor and current President of the YMCA Board, Barbara Messina; Francella Aguilar from Republic Services; former San Gabriel Mayor Mary Cammarano; City of Rosemead Mayor Margaret Clark; former Alhambra Mayor Mary Louise Bunker; Andrew Kwok from Southern California Gas Co.; Alhambra Police Chief Timothy Vu; and Joe Pavon, owner of Al’s Towing, who underwrote the AUSD LIFT student tables at the event.
Contributions large and small make a big difference to an at-risk child. Donate to the Y’s lifeline children’s programming by contacting Ms. Gomez at email@example.com or by phone at 626- 660-6881.