My garden and pond
But I kept thinking about Friday night's joyful Save our Youth annual Fiesta honoring founder and board member Jean Forbath and wanted to share a few thoughts.
The whole event was delightful and speaks volumes about how much we care for our community and our kids who need help with school work and a vision from a tutor or mentor who encourage them to succeed in school and to prepare for college after graduation.
Money raised from the Fiesta goes for a small SOY staff, headquarters, art and music supplies etc. and scholarships and trips for kids to visit colleges and many other things. More than $3.2 million in college scholarships to more than 450 students has been given to attend all UC campuses and almost every Cal State.
"SOY academic students have a 100% high school graduation rate and 100 % enter college after high school"- SOY brochure.
I admire Jean Forbath for her vision and commitment to help Newport-Mesa disadvantaged youth since 1993. Jean founded SOS too. She's got a lot of gems in her crown and still contributing to our community, although now will be retiring and continue as board emeritus and advisor.
Upon arriving at the Fiesta, Silvia Rosales and SOY youth welcomed guests, Eddie Iniestra MC'd with live music courtesy of SOY students, as we browsed the silent auction (I didn't win), and Ivan Calderon of Taco Mesa served a scrumptious meal. Former Mayor Joe Erickson shared Jean's many accomplishments and we all clapped.
A very well-spoken young lady, Claudia Flores, shared her story about how SOY mentors helped her with studies and prepared her for college. She and other SOY college graduates come back to SOY to encourage the younger kids. When the kids visit colleges in the spring, former SOY students proudly give them campus tours.
Fiesta guests were from Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. (About half of Newport Harbor High School kids live in Costa Mesa, board member Mary Cappellini reminded me as we chatted during the silent auction. Mary is one of Jean's 7 children who were all there to honor their mom).
This joyful event speaks well of our great Newport-Mesa community and the generous, kind caring people we are.
Councilwoman Sandy Genis was there as well as former Mayor Mary Hornbuckle. Sandy and I chatted with others about our wonderful community and the success of SOY.
But where were the Costa Mesa mayor and the mayor pro tem? I know they get invited to plenty of events but I think they would enjoy this one too. Don't they know this is an important community event supporting one of several Westside non profits which encourages, and inspires hundreds of kids to get a good education? Surely they were invited. But then I don't think Mayor pro tem Righeimer's recent "...If you can't afford to live here..." statement at a recent council meeting would have made him too popular with SOY Fiesta goers. According to Mr. Righeimer Costa Mesa has become an exclusive, wealthy community so poor people should consider moving to less expensive states. Unbelievable!
Hopefully, anyone who missed the Fiesta will send in a donation. We need to continue to support SOY and Newport- Mesa teens and all the good work they do for Newport-Mesa kids.
Here's the address: SOY Center, 661 Hamilton Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 949-548-3255. Soycenter@aol.com