Play, Learn and Grow with LA’s BEST Kids

15th Annual Family Brunch

June 6, 2010

With Sunday’s wave of the magic wand, LA’s BEST helped to cast a charitable spell on more than 400 people who came to support LA's BEST After School Enrichment Program at the 15th Annual Family Brunch, chaired by Mary Odell, President of the UniHealth Foundation, held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. This year’s theme, "Play, Learn and Grow with LA’s BEST," celebrated the many learning discoveries made during the after school hours. Those in attendance included Host Michaela Pereira of KTLA, inspiring honorees Buzz Aldrin, Disney Channel’s Peter Murrieta and David Henrie of “Wizards of Waverly Place”, the Honorable Richard Riordan, actors Fred Willard and Doris Roberts, generous contributors, LA’s BEST student writing contest winners and their families, student performers and staff. In addition, actors Gregg Sulkin and Maria Canals Barrera of “Wizards of Waverly Place” and Nicole Anderson of “JONAS” came out to support Murrieta and Henrie. The audience enjoyed a talented dance performance by LA’s BEST students from Hillcrest Elementary in Crenshaw and a choral performance by Kathy Fisher, 112th Street Elementary in Watts and Valley View Elementary in Hollywood, who sang “Together We’ll Be Strong,” written especially for LA’s BEST by songwriting duo Ron Wasserman and Kathy Fisher.


Student winners of the LA’s BEST 15th Annual Family Brunch Creative Writing and Art Contest were: Ismael B. from Los Feliz, Jasmine C. from Leo Politi, Elsi C. from Aurora, Vishal D. from NEW Academy Canoga Park, Daniel D. from Montague Charter Academy, Joenas D. from Winnetka, Rodolfo G. from 135th Street, Lizeth G. from NEW Academy Canoga Park, Jesus G. from Sunrise, Samantha H. from Mayberry, Yareli H. from Mayberry, Diana H. from Hooper Primary Center, Enorl J. from Compton, Danny L. from Burton, Abraham L. from Leo Politi, Justine M. from Bushnell Way, Brian M. from Utah Street, Jennifer P. from Osceola, Karla R. from Stagg, Riann R. from Vena Avenue and Karla S. from Dyer Street.


The Annual Family Brunch salutes the importance of family and provides an opportunity for LA's BEST to honor those in our community who support the program and enrich the lives of underprivileged children in Los Angeles. David Seidel, Manager of Elementary and Secondary Education Programs at NASA’s JPL presented Buzz Aldrin with the Inspiration Award for motivating LA’s BEST children to reach for the stars. Actor Fred Willard presented Peter Murrieta and David Henrie with the Children’s Champion Award for creating and leading ongoing improv workshops designed to improve self-esteem and self-confidence in LA’s BEST students across Los Angeles. Molly Munger, Co-Founder of the Advancement Project, presented the Distinguished Alumna Award to Sohar Quinteros, an associate at the Law Offices of Fernando Romo & Associates, PLC, and LA’s BEST Alumna from Hart Street Elementary. Former Mayor Richard Riordan presented Mattel, Inc.’s Bryan Stockton, president of International, with the Community Partner Award for Mattel’s strong partnership and active involvement with LA’s BEST during the past four years.


The event raised more than $620,000 and included a raffle for the all-new 2010 Toyota Prius, which was generously donated by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. Funds raised will go to general program expenses for the organization, which serves 28,000 elementary school students in Los Angeles every school day in the hours after the last bell rings.


Carla Sanger, LA's BEST President & CEO, noted, “We are so grateful to our many valued contributors whose support of our 15th Annual Family Brunch acknowledges that investing in LA's BEST is an investment in the social and economic future of Los Angeles.”


Photos are available upon 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 28,000 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


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