CLF completes another successful year

Low income and at-risk youth attend a Holiday Party at Juan Cabrillo Elementary School.

The Children's Lifesaving Foundation celebrated its 14th year helping homeless children and families enjoy and lead better, more productive and educationally fulfilled lives by providing them with housing, education and recreation.

Several Malibu residents and companies were a huge part of this process, including Ellen and John Poyer, Pam and Joe Wirht, Marla and Jeffrey Michaels, Bill and Lisa Curtis, Richard and Donna Chesterfield, Hollis Henning and Don Zinman, the Gibson Family, the Robb Report, Jenefer Palmer at OSEA Skincare, Planet Blue, JAKK's Pacific, Pepperdine's Challenge for Charity MBA group, Lilly Lawrence (who hosted her final fundraiser for the CLF before her Castle Kashan was destroyed in the October fire).

The CLF saw an 80 percent increase in children's grades and academic performance in 2007 due to its "Care Through College" Learning Center. Children and teens in the Adopt-a-Family Program attend this after school, one-on-one tutoring program designed to prepare children for college. Dedicated tutors teach and mentor the children.

The children are provided with healthy, second-meal snacks, free school supplies and backpacks through the "Kids Helping Kids" Program. Also, Topson-Downs of California provided free clothing for the children and their mothers. And a year's worth (including summer) of art, cultural and educational field trip outings and adventures were provided for participants.

Two families will enjoy a four-day stay at a four star hotel in San Diego this spring because their children had "A" averages on their report cards in 2007. This is a gift from the Mann Family.

More than 2,300 homeless and at-risk children from ages 6 to 14 were treated to an amazing array of spectacular field trips and sporting events, and learned to ride the waves during special surf camps with Malibu volunteers and Malibu Makos instructors at Zuma Beach.

Three low-income families were moved into new apartments in safe and productive neighborhoods, starting wholly new, enriching lives.

The CLF kicked off the Holiday Season for the 13th consecutive year with friends and sponsors Sylvia St. James and the House of Blues, who served more than 1,400 homeless friends a delicious Gospel-style brunch at their West Hollywood venue. The CLF coordinated more than 20 local-area shelters to participate in this great, festive day.

In December, the CLF's sponsors once again hosted exciting holiday parties for low-income and at-risk youth of Los Angeles, all held at Webster Elementary School's Auditorium. Sponsors included Topson-Downs, Kayo, California Supply, Icon Productions, the Robb Report and Disney. Each child was given a gift bag with seven toys, which were donated from local school toy drives at Webster, Juan Cabrillo and Point Dume Marine Science as well as by friends at Malibu Jakks Pacific, and local Malibu and Valley families.

Additional toys were also delivered to downtown, Santa Monica and Skid Row shelters this year.

Those wishing to participate or learn more about the CLF's work should call 310.450.3701 or go to www.childrenlifesaving.org.

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