Thanks to the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation’s (CLF) Springtime Champagne Brunch fundraiser at the Malibu Jewish Center on Saturday, dozens of homeless and at-risk children and families will now be able to attend camp in Malibu this summer, as well as benefit from the nonprofit’s educational and support programs.

Empowering women, the luncheon theme, was an aptly chosen message to coincide with Mother’s Day weekend. Most of the 200 attendees were women from a variety of backgrounds and professions throughout Malibu, and each of the event’s speakers encouraged them to keep moving forward and creating positive messages for today’s society.

Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, gave a moving keynote address while discussing her recently published book, “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.” The book has been on the New York Times bestseller list for the past four weeks.

Huffington delivered the message that power and success have to be balanced with “giving” and “thriving” in order to have a truly complete life.

“I collapsed from exhaustion seven years ago, hit my head on a desk and broke my cheekbone, and that was my wake-up call,” Huffington said. “As I decided to write this book, I saw the majority of people I knew were also burned out. It’s like the disease of civilization.”

One of her first realizations was that she never got enough sleep. 

“I have 55 pages of endnotes in my book on scientific studies,” Huffington, said. “If you have enough sleep and are fully recharged, you can take on more of whatever gives you joy…and not walk through your day like a zombie.”

The second truth she found was the “wisdom” of recharging herself by not spending every waking hour plugged into electronic devices. 

“I couldn’t remember the last time I walked down my street in New York without being on my cell phone…Once I cut back, I noticed an interesting building on the street, and asked my assistant, ‘When did that go up?’ She said, ‘About 1890.’” 

She learned to control anxiety. 

“When we get caught up in negative fantasies, we need to change the channel and ignore the voices of self-doubt and self-judgment — it’s the most draining thing in our lives…We don’t give ourselves any slack, we expect every day to be perfect.” 

“Giving is what completes the circle,” Huffington said. Scientific studies have shown that, “When we’re engaged in giving, precursors of disease go down. Our genes were wired for giving…and we should live our lives in a way that prioritizes giving.” 

When asked if she thought she would have been as successful if she had followed her new rules from the beginning, she said, “A thousand percent yes, and with less stress and anxiety and better relationships. That’s why we need new role models. The biggest mistakes I made were when I was burned out and rushed.” 

Making it a family affair, Huffington’s sister, Agapi Stassinopoulos, author of “Unbinding the Heart,” spoke briefly about their Greek upbringing in honor of Mother’s Day. 

Malibu resident Susan Stiffelman, author of “Parenting without Power Struggles,” and entrepreneur Bobi Leonard also spoke at the event. 

The Children’s Lifesaving Foundation, headquartered in Santa Monica, helps homeless and at-risk children and families in Los Angeles and Ventura County with academic, social and domestic support programs. They provide help with housing, tutors, college scholarships, field trips to local beaches and mountains, holiday parties and summer camp. 

Founded in 1993 by Maria D’Angelo in South Central LA, thousands of children, teens and families have been referred to CLF by homeless shelters, group homes, missions, Boys and Girls Clubs, foster care, schools, churches and agencies. 

Since 2006, CLF conducted Surf Camp4All at Zuma Beach, but this year, the Leo Carillo Jr. Lifeguards invited them to be part of their annual Surf Camp. CLF also conducts family retreats and outings at Camp Hess Kramer and Circle X. 

(1) comment

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