Photographed above is Light and Soul. Members listed below.
I had such a wonderful time with the kids at the Hope For Kids Full Armor Mentors Easter Outreach yesterday. I have a few pictures from my phone but will be uploading more (better quality) taken from various photographers in a few days.
This was such a spectacular day with quite a build up. I had been working on getting entertainment for the event since February of 2011. I was confident going into it because all the pre-work had been done. I had a final exam in my trial practice class on Thursday of this week and spent just about all my time this week on that. In fact, I didn't even go to work, where I was surely missed by my boss, Dad. But, I am sure it came as no surprise to him. Usually when I have a final coming up at school, I take a few, if not the entire week off.
Anyways, back to the topic at hand. So, on Wednesday, I found out that the DJ, two dance acts, a singer and a magician couldn't make it. I decided that I wasn't going to worry about it until the final exam was over and all would be taken care of.
Now, God willing, it was.
My final exam went off pretty well on Thursday night. We got out of class at about 11pm which meant I got home around 12:00am on Friday. Friday morning I got up at 6am to be at my volunteer position at the LA DA's office at 8am. I worked there until 4pm and got to work on fixing the Hope for Kids program.
I went to Toys R Us, with no help. I ended up buying some books for my friend's girls. Then ran over to Von's and bought seven pounds of chocolate.
I got home and tore through my entire apartment. It is now quite a disaster. I found: poster boards, large felt tip pens, a bag, small stuffed doggies I bought for the Hope for Kids Christmas Outreach 2010, a large basket, cordless mic, blue ribbon from some cards I was planning to send as invitations, ipod, ipod connector, itunes online, large plastic eggs from last year, colored flat colored large eggs made two years prior, AA batteries, a pink box and a wireless keyboard.
I made pin the tail on the bunny with the poster boards and felt tipped pens. I text my mother to see if she could bring cotton balls. [Please note, I do not draw. I do not think they look good. But I think they got the job done :)] However, I never got to use the pin the tail on the bunny because we ran out of time. This is a good thing.
Next, I paired the doggies with a large basket I had to make the game, "Throw the Dogs in the basket." All the kids loved this one and the parents watched and were proud when their kids aimed well. I passed out blue ribbons to everyone who participated. Some of the kids wanted the ribbons in their hair while others wanted them around their wrist.
Itunes was a wonderful help because I was able to download two versions of the Cha Cha Slide. One was the first edition and the second one was the faster version that says, "let's get funky." Also, I downloaded the Hokey Poky, Limbo, YMCA, The Twist that would continue the dance party past the line dances. The kids really got into all the dances. It was great!
I made another cd from itunes with random child friendly songs to play between acts or during games. It made the transitions smooth and the games more enjoyable. Of course, I had help with the music. Amanda Krugh from Christian Community Church volunteered to run the sound and the computer presentations. This was really a big help to the smooth operation of the show.
The flat eggs were used in a game of "musical eggs." This game is exactly like musical chairs but with flat eggs on the ground. It is a Hope for Kids favorite. This one was a hit.
The round eggs, from prior years, were used in a relay game. The kids put an egg between their knees and attempted to pass them to the next person. This one is always a little confusing for the kids but they try hard at it. (See image above of badly drawn bunnies for photos of these eggs).
The candy and bag were used at the outreach to reward(bribe) the kids. This worked in many circumstances. For example, one child was upset because someone had pushed him in the game. I sat the bad child in time out. Then gave the other one candy. Another child was upset because he thought he was really the winner of the game. I gave him candy and said, "I know you did but "Charlie" never wins and you already won a game." He was happy. It goes without saying but I didn't have any candy left by the end of the day.
The cordless mic and keyboard were not used because Amanda Krugh gave me a wireless lapel mic and ran the sound and presentations making both the cordless mic and keyboard unnecessary. I am very glad that when I called Francie Inez on Wednesday night she was able to arrange for Amanda Krugh to come. This was quite a blessing. Oh, I was able to use the AA batteries I brought to power up the lapel mic.
The main acts that came and donated their time were also a great help. Light and Soul performed an hour of music from 12:15 to 1:15pm while the kids and their families signed in, ate and got situated. They were really amazing. I had such a good time watching them. The vocal blending was superb. Members Nathan Halverson on keyboard and vocals, Ashmeed Ali on bass guitar, Lonny Gallentine on drums, Bill Fleury on guitar and vocals, and Gayle Fleury providing vocals. Light and Soul are very impressive.
Next we had the Flag Ceremony, Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem. Doug Williams, USMC, Joe Gatlin, US Army, James Griffith, US Navy and US Civil Air Patrol and Cadet BJ Fleury presented the colors. Then I led the pledge of Allegiance. Next, Pete Carlson played beautifully on a horn for the Anthem while everyone sang along. It was really moving to hear everyone singing and pledging allegiance to the United States of America. It has been so long since I have been in school where we do the pledge and for some reason it struck me. Probably because I love our country.
Next Dr. Francie, Zeke Rodribuez and Pete Carlson gave an Easter message while everyone listened intently.
Pastor Doug with translator Ruth Sipple blessed the crowd while Dennis and Anette joined in.
Then, Elisabeth Fies and Cindy Baer showed up to give the kids an acting lesson. The kids were very attentive and were excited to volunteer. Almost every child would put their hand up when Elisabeth and Cindy asked for volunteers. I think I saw some jumping and that age old, "oh, oh, oh," and, "me, me, me." It was great to have them!
Then I did the Cha Cha Slide part one and two and followed it with the Hokey Poky, then Limbo.
Next, the kids went outside for the Easter Egg Hunt. They returned about twenty minutes later with their baskets.
Nurse Tricia (Tricia Wickers) and I handed out stethoscopes to the kids. She taught them how to listen to their heart beats and then passed out Charlie Brown band aids so they could treat a patient (the kid next to them) with a cut on their arm. The children were very quiet and listened intently to Nurse Tricia. It was a wonderful experience.
Then, Alex Montelongo from Polynesian Paradise Dancers, entered the stage in full costume to dance for the kids. She entertained them and then taught them some Polynesian dance moves. After that, Alex showed them another traditional Polynesian dance. It was really beautiful. I tried to mimic what the dancer was doing, and well, I don't think it is one of my strengths. Ha ha ha. Special thank you to Akemi Welsh for arranging it.
After the Polynesian dance, Nurse Tricia helped me facilitate the games, "Get the Dog in the Basket" game and musical eggs. My throat was starting to fail me after almost four hours of talking. Thankfully, Nurse Tricia took over while I handed out the blue ribbons to the kids. Rodney Wickers was on hand to take photos and thankfully so. I abruptly got a coughing fit in the middle of the "Dog in the Basket" game and he was able to bring me some water.
Dr. Francie had given me some thank you flowers that were intended for Elisabeth Fies, Cindy Baer, Light and Soul, Nurse Tricia and the Polynesian Paradise Dancer which I forgot to hand out. Sorry guys!
That brought us to 4:00pm and the party was over. What a wonderful Easter and what a wonderful group of volunteers.
At the outreach Orda Cherry ran the Easter Buffet and many volunteers helped with sign in, face painting, Easter story's, Easter Bunny, including Hope for Kids Ambassadors of Hope: Jose Barraza, Tonya Perez, Tony Gaxiola, Jesus Caldeon, Severine Cutright, Laurie Martinez and Ava Huntington.
Some of the Major Sponsors included: Community Christian Church; Western State University College of Law Student Bar Association, President Leila Stevens; SBA Silent Auction Coordinator Sabrina Gustafson.
The Hope for Kids Board of Directors: Dr. Francie Inez, Pete Carlson, MFT, Exekiel Rodriguez, Deborah Valdez, and Wayne Johnson.
The Hope for Kids Advisory Board: Richard Adams, Feniz Alvarado, Bob Andrew, Kay Bowers, Jennifer Corona, Pstor Justus Ghormley, James Griffith, Annette MacDonald, Pam Maynard, Leslie Peterson, Carol Rugnetta, and Christina Wickers.
Honorary Advisory Board: Councilwoman Janice Hahn, 15th District; Mayor Jim Dear of Carson and Marcelino Ines, Jr. and Lions.
Donors and Volunteers included: Amanda Krugh, Terry O'Neil, Mickey Crandall, Joe Keller, Vicki Keller, Eva Keller, Alchele Family, Christian Family Fellowship, Kith Taylor, Betty Taylor, Dennis Dobbin, Doug Marshall, Rodney Wickers, Tricia Wickers, Elisabeth Fies, Cindy Bear, Polynesian Paradise Dancers, Annette MacDonalds, Patrice Brooks, Dana Rose, Harrison Rose, David Bright, Teresa Del Rosario, Christian del Rosario, Johnny Quintana and Corazon Quintana, BJ Fleury, Fran Espinosa, Jayn Ghormley, San Pedro High School Key Club, Jazmin & Company, Ordra Cherry, Amanda Krugh, Felicia Joyce, Rocky Cola Cafe Hermosa Beach, Chris Evans, Redondo Beach Cafe, Garrett Joyce, Laura Booth, Gary Carbone, Mae Fuete, Zoe Fuerte, Brian Duke, John Campos, Michelle Campos, Mary Fuerte, Eric Fuerte, Ed Cruz, Bob Andrew, Della Andrew, E. Arujo, Bill Fleury, Gayle Fleury, Vicki Graham, Dale Tweten, Cooper Family, Sonja Jarvis-Ciuro, Joe Jarvis-Ciuro, Chuck Jarvis, Sonia Jarvis, Dale Buss, Jim Sipple, Ruth Sipple, Susie Shaw, Richard Keenan, Pam Keenan.