PASADENA - Five Acres, a pioneer in providing successful solutions that ensure safety, well-being and permanent homes for children and their families celebrated 125 years of service with an annual awards ceremony and anniversary celebration held on Mar. 16 at Altadena Town and Country Club. Over 150 supporters were in attendance to honor the local nonprofit’s generations of success. Guests included board members, donors, volunteers, elected officials, past clients and members of the community. Rita Hadjimanoukian, Field Representative for Supervisor Michael Antonovichwas in attendance and presented Five Acres with a proclamation for its 125th anniversary and declared Mar. 16 as “Five Acres Day” in Los Angeles County. Councilmember Jacque Robinson presented a commendation recognizing Five Acres for its 125 years of service on behalf of Mayor Bill Bogard and the City of Pasadena.
Community leaders also in attendance were Commander John Perez from the Pasadena Police Department who was recognized for his ongoing work with foster youth; longtime supporter Anthony Portantino, recognized for his work with Five Acres’ Transitional-Age Youth Program; and Alex Zucco, who presented official proclamations on behalf of Assemblymember Chris Holden and Senator Carol Liu.
The annual awards ceremony recognized key individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to Five Acres’ mission and effective programming provided to over 6,500 children and family members each year. This year’s awardees include:
Ryan Dietz, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for his leadership as Chair of Five Acres’ Golf Classic committee for ten years. The annual event has raised significant support for the agency including $1.1 million dollars under Dietz’ direction and $2.5 million since its inception in 1988. Dietz has been supporting Five Acres since 2000 and has spent nine years on Five Acres’ Board of Directors.
Pasadena Jaycees was honored with the Special Services to Children Award for their more than ten years of dedicated service and implementation of innovative programs for children living in Five Acres’ residential treatment program. Their programs include: the annual Easter party and summer BBQ which serves as a model for other organizations who host activity days for the children of Five Acres. Scott Pool, Pasadena Jaycees President and Nicole Sanders, Vice President of Community Service were in attendance to accept the award.
Cathy Clement was presented with the Dorothy Cook Lifetime Achievement Award for her 24 years of consecutive leadership. Clement served as Five Acres’ Chief Development Officer where she oversaw Five Acres’ fundraising, communications and special events, raising over $40 million to help enrich Five Acres’ services.
A local family foundation was honored with the Special Recognition Award for their support of Five Acres’ Transitional-Age Youth Program, with contributions totaling $225,000. The program provides current and emancipated foster youth with the support and services needed to become fully independent and self-sufficient adults.
“As we celebrate 125 years of impact to hundreds and thousands of children and families throughout Southern California, we are honored to share this momentous occasion with generations of committed supporters, passionate leaders and inspiring clients who have played a vital role in achieving Five Acres’ continued success. We look to members of the community for their critical support, guidance and resources to ensure Five Acres ability to provide programs for children and families in crisis for the next 125 years,” said Chanel Boutakidis, Five Acres’ Chief Executive Officer.
This is the first of several major events taking place in 2013 in celebration of Five Acres’ 125th anniversary. Others include the Anniversary Gala, Swingin’ On a Star – The Spy Who Loved Five Acres on May 18th at the Ambassador Campus; Pasadena Mental Health Center’s Annual Fete on June 22nd at a private estate; the Invitational Golf Classic on September 23rd at San Gabriel Country Club; and culminating with the Holiday Open House on December 5th at Five Acres’ Altadena Campus.
125 years ago on March 12, 1888 Five Acres was founded on the shared belief that no child should ever be left without hope of a permanent loving family. Throughout its history, Five Acres has continued to provide programs that have a measurable impact on over 6,500 children and family members served each year. For more information and to be a part of Five Acres’ 125th anniversary, visit www.fiveacres.org or call 626-798-6793.
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