Guests enjoyed fine food, entertainment and inspiring speeches. Photos by Yana Khiyod
Kids & Families Together hosted their 4th Annual November Fundraising Event Fostering the Next Wave 2022, held on Saturday, November 5th, at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, was a surf inspired fundraising celebration supporting Ventura County foster youth and families. The event raised funds for Kids & Families Together (K&FT) and More Than Conquerors Surf (MTC Surf).
More than 150 guests joined us for this fun and successful event! Guests enjoyed surf inspired music and films during Happy Hour, along with a silent auction filled with a wide variety of items up for bid. The evening’s program included inspiring testimonial speakers and messages from two Ventura County political leaders and a local professional surfer!
Speakers for the event included: an opening and welcome from Ventura County Supervisor Matt LaVere; Sharon Watts Woolley, K&FT’s Board Chair; David & Faith Friedlander, K&FT’s Co-Founders; and Elle Miller, Founder of MTC Surf. Kids & Families Together presented the 4th Annual Founders’ Award to CA State Assemblymember Steve Bennett for his continued support of programs benefitting Ventura County foster youth.
Testimonial speakers included: Dr. Barbara Morris Jensen, adoptive parent supported by K&FT; Gwendolyn Herrera, Assistant Vice President/Branch Manager Union Bank and kinship caregiver supported by K&FT;
Lea Martinez, Ventura County foster/resource parent supported by K&FT and an “MTC Surf family” participating in their monthly surf events; and John Villela, Board Member of MTC Surf.
Featured guest speaker was professional surfer, long board champion and Ventura local, Mary Osborne. We want to thank Mary for stepping in at the last minute to join us. The event closed with a fantastic hula performance by Hula Anyone from Santa Barbara. https://www.hulaanyone.com/ Our event emcee was, Matthew Graczyk. Our event DJ was, Logan Graczyk. https://djmajestic.com/
We gratefully acknowledge our event sponsors! Sponsorship levels were surf themed, recognizing the top big wave surf spots in California and our local favorites here along the Ventura County coast!
Top Level “Maverick Sponsor” at $5,000 was Union Bank. “Rincon, Queen of the Coast Sponsors” at $2,500 were, Assured Partners and Aqua-Flo Supply. “C-Street Sponsors” at $1,000 included, Mission Produce, Gold Coast Health Plan, The Partnership for Safe Families & Communities of Ventura County, Pacific Western Bank, Liz Donnelly Group Re/MAX, Gold Coast Health Plan, Ventura Townehouse, Community Memorial Health System, Sharon Watts Woolley, John Woolley, Marianne Bloom and the Kearney Family Fund. “Mondos Sponsors” at $500 were, Rick & Sheri Ashleman, Dorn & Dr. Kathleen Van Antwerp, the Mullett Family, Robert & Jean Bonar, Lu Setnicka, Kyle & Crystal Cummings, Controlled Elements Heating & A/C, and the Ventura Breeze.
Founded in January 2000, Kids & Families Together serves foster, adoptive, kinship, and birth families throughout Ventura County. For over two decades K&FT has become the leader in providing critical services and support to children who have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect, loss, and multiple placements. K&FT is unique in that we provide counseling services, education, support and strategies to connect caregivers and parents to the children in their care. We wrap our arms around the entire family to help them raise healthy, nurtured children that thrive. To learn more visit – https://www.kidsandfamilies.org/
More Than Conquerors Surf, founded in 2020, serves foster youth in Ventura County by providing them with the opportunity to experience freedom, joy, and confidence through the gift of surfing. MTC Surf’s mission is to provide foster youth with the ultimate surf experience in a safe and fun environment while encouraging personal growth, community, and faith. MTC Surf desires that every child and teen that surfs with them would know that they are fully loved and capable of conquering any current and future challenges they may face. To learn more visit – https://www.mtcsurf.org/
We thank everyone that came out to support this event! Thank You!!!
Missed the event? You can still support by texting the word “Fostering” to 91999 to donate.
A video recap of the event can be viewed on Kids & Families Together’s YouTube Channel … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvTYSC241Kc