13th Annual LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program Family Brunch


June 2, 2008

On Sunday, June 1, LA’s BEST hosted a successful 13th Annual Family Brunch at Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City. The Annual Family Brunch is a unique fundraising event that emphas the vision of LA’s BEST: All children need a safe place to be after school with caring, responsible adults and engaging activities that connect each child to his or her school, family and community. Those in attendance included Host Michaela Pereira of KTLA, celebrities such as Forest and Keisha Whitaker, Nigel Lythgoe, Buzz Aldrin , Stefanie Powers and Doris Roberts, local public officials Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Mayor James Hahn and Mayor of Pasadena Bill Bogaard, generous donors, LA’s BEST student writing contest winners, student performers and staff. The audience enjoyed performances by LA’s BEST students from Stonehurst Elementary in Sun Valley and Gates St. School in Lincoln Heights.

The Annual Family brunch salutes the importance of family and provides an opportunity to honor those in our community who exemplify these values and enrich the lives of children. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented the Amgen Foundation with the Community Partner Award for their generous support of LA’s BEST science and math programs. The award was accepted by Amgen Foundation’s President and Director of Corporate Contributions for Amgen Inc., Jean Lim. Chief William J. Bratton presented the Alumnus Award to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mauricio Valdovinos, an accomplished alumnus of the LA’s BEST program at Langdon Elementary School. The Family Focus Award was presented by NBA star Baron Davis, an LA’s BEST alumnus, to Keisha and Forest Whitaker for their support and activism around the challenges youth face in Los Angeles and internationally.

The event raised nearly $1,000,000 and included a raffle for a 2008 Toyota Prius which was generously donated by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. The raffle alone raised $100,000 for the organization. All funds raised will go to general operating expenses for the organization, which serves more than 26,000 elementary school students in Los Angeles every school day in the hours after the last bell rings.

Marvin Suomi, Chair of the Board of Directors of LA’s BEST, noted, "What makes the LA’s BEST Annual Family Brunch special is that everyone, especially each child in attendance, feels likes a V.I.P. We are proud of the 20 years the program has been serving Los Angeles elementary school students, and look forward to the next 20 years."

Photos are available upon e-mail request.

About LA’s BEST

LA's BEST - Better Educated Students for Tomorrow - is a nationally recognized after school education, enrichment and recreation program serving more than 26,000 children with the greatest needs and fewest resources throughout the City of Los Angeles. LA's BEST After School Enrichment Program provides a safe haven for children ages 5 to 12 at 180 elementary school sites each day during the critical hours after school - at no cost to parents. Established in 1988, LA’s BEST is a partnership including the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the private sector. For more information, please visit www.lasbest.org.