Nancy Foster receives Angel Award from California Families in Focus

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foster-angel-awardsCalifornia Families in Focus honored First Lady Nancy Foster with the 2009 Angel Award, at the 6th Annual Spirit of Christmas Brunch, on December 20, held at the Gaslamp Restaurant. The Angel Award is one of the city’s most honorable awards and was created by the California Families in Focus Board of Directors in honor of the founder, Angel Macias.

Each year an Angel award recipient is selected based on their contributions and support of California Families in Focus and the Annual Spirit of Christmas Brunch, this individual will stand out amongst the many supporters, funders and volunteers and will show great leadership and what the true Spirit of Christmas is all about…giving with joy and gratitude of oneself and to ensure that the women and children living in shelters enjoy a day of love, family and sharing.

“The need was so great this year but I had faith that our community would pull their resources together and that the funding to provide such an elaborate event would come through so that the 6th Annual Spirit of Christmas Brunch would be a joyous event.  Over 500 women and children attended the event and I am happy to say that all the women received a self esteem basket and the children got lots of gifts and toys, but more importantly they felt loved and cared for, and to me that is what Christmas is about, giving and sharing,” said Angel Macias, CEO and Founder of California Families in Focus.

“First Lady Nancy Foster, as well as Mayor Bob Foster, have given so much to our City and each year they not only attend the Spirit of Christmas Brunch, they donate funding, toys, books, turkey vouchers and support the event.  Nancy Foster speaks to the clients of the shelters and inspires them to be strong and gives them hope of living a loving life free of domestic violence.”

For the past 6 years, California Families in Focus has produced the Spirit of Christmas Brunch to ensure that women and children living in Domestic Violence Shelters enjoy a traditional Christmas event. This year California Families in Focus selected two Long Beach shelters as the recipients of the Spirit of Christmas Brunch and the many gifts this event brings to the women and children currently living at the Women’s Shelter of Long Beach and Su Casa.

The event was filled with holiday cheer, as each family entered the room.  The women were greeted at the door by rows of handsome gentlemen who offered their arm and a red rose upon entering the beautifully decorated restaurant. The women were escorted to their table along with their children.  After they were seated, they were served a delightful brunch provided by the Gaslamp Restaurant. After the brunch, the children were invited to play outside in the children’s area decorated in the likes of the North Pole and arranged with activities like arts & crafts, face painting, moon bouncer, and of course, photos with good ole Santa Claus.

While the youth enjoyed the children’s area, the women were treated to karaoke with Donaldo Reed, a comedy show with Sandra Valls and inspiring speakers like Bob and Nancy Foster, Congresswoman Laura Richardson, who also serenaded the ladies with her version of “I Will Survive”, Councilman Dee Andrews and Michele Molina, founder of Peace Partners.

The program was a healing experience for the attendee’s and inspired them to believe in themselves. The theme was “Super Woman” and each woman received a Self Esteem basket and a purple tee shirt sponsored by the Long Beach Hilton and the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, purple in honor of domestic violence awareness and the letter “S” on the shirt to symbolize being a Super Woman and a Survivor. “These women need to know that they are super women because they are survivors”, said Robert Spieth, Co-Founder of California Families in Focus.

The event ended with 10 motorcycle clubs, with more than 100 motorcyclists, delivering toys to the children and a special candy bag.

“I am so happy to be a part of this experience. I have been in a safe house for the past 2 months with my children and this is the only Christmas event my children will enjoy,” stated one attendee. The attendee’s were transported from an undisclosed address to and from the event courtesy of Long Beach Transit.

Over 70 percent of the event’s volunteers were youth from California Families in Focus who is the producer of the Spirit of Christmas Brunch, California Families in Focus is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose proceeds fund “Youth programs” focused on; Leadership development; Gang prevention; Youth advocacy; Youth mentoring; Teen health and nutrition and the Juanita Alvarez and Vanessa Marin Scholarship Program. California Families in Focus began as a community group that raised funding to put together conferences, educational workshops and events for businesses and local organizations that inspire, educate, and empower youth to achieve their full potential.

For further information about California Families in Focus, contact Angel Macias at (562) 900-8686 or log on to www.cffocus.org.

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