First Annual ChariTea Fundraiser Celebrates Women of Distinction, Honors National Foster Care Month, Raises $10K for Children in Need
The Children’s Foundation of America held its first ever ChariTea Fundraiser on May 21 with 80 guests in attendance. The sold-out tea party and fundraiser welcomed dignitaries from local to state government, corporate executives, leaders in education, and various members of the community to support our cause.
Since our CEO, Cher Ofstedahl, had recently been named a Woman of Distinction by Assemblymember Chris Holden, we took the opportunity to share the spotlight and celebrate female entrepreneurship within our great community. Matthew Lyons presented the honor of Claremont’s 2022 Woman of Distinction to Cher at the event on behalf of Assemblymember Holden.
Cher graciously accepted the award and spoke on the advantage of choosing our own “family” (or circle) as adults. From friends, to mentors and colleagues who encourage and lift us up to our best selves. Cher experienced her own childhood trauma, which gives her a unique insight into helping children and families create a better future through her work in foster care and adoption services. For over two decades, Cher has been making a difference in the lives of children in need.
As our ChariTea Presenting Sponsor and President of Claremont Lincoln University, Dr. Lynn Priddy congratulated Cher on her recognition and for her life’s work for children and families. Dr. Priddy acknowledged all in attendance as leaders by being present for the fundraiser, which ultimately raised nearly $10,500 for displaced children during National Foster Care Month.
In addition, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Los Angeles Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Senator Anthony Portantino, Claremont City Councilwoman Jennifer Stark, and various nonprofit leaders sent along their congratulations with an array of certificates and cards.
The Children’s Foundation of America presented donation checks cumulating in $2,000 for A Greater Hope Foundation, Purposely Chosen Inc., and McKinley Children’s Center. Accepting the checks on behalf of these organizations were women leaders from each organization: Helena Lopez, Dretona Maddox, and Tristin Harding. Our hope is to encourage them in their work and to help further their mission forward in some small way. We are pleased to announce that McKinley Children’s Center will be using the donation to help update their children’s playground.
While ChariTea attendees listened to the various speakers and a live musical performance by Katie Ferrara, guests enjoyed finger sandwiches and hors d’oeuvres from Cutting Edge Catering, whom we are so grateful to. Owners Jeremy and Nicole Michalski have fostered dozens and adopted five children. Because of their generosity, our fundraising dollars went much further than we could have expected.
Baked goods were set on each table by our event committee and included pastries from I Like Pie Bakeshop, Euro Café, Crumbl Cookies, Honeybird, and Victoria Derksen. Tea and coffee was graciously provided by Summit Tea and Pour Vida. Thank you to Nicole Haboud for running the impressive tea and coffee cart. Our thanks also goes to Delia Haro Florals for our beautiful centerpieces.
To conclude our event in the Women’s Club of Claremont garden, we held a silent auction featuring artwork, gift baskets, jewelry, vintage items, and more. A wonderful time was had by all and guests even got to have their picture taken by local photographer, Jacqueline Legazcue (see photo gallery below). In gratitude, each guest left with a gift bag filled with beauty products including a box set from Physicians Formula. Thank you to all who participated in our event. We look forward to another fantastic tea party for a great cause next year!
Jenelle Phillips, Director of Development
Jenelle oversees the day-to-day operations and staffing of the Foundation, which includes event planning, volunteer coordination, community outreach, marketing and donor relations. Above all, Jenelle’s focus is to identify and access resources in order to help children heal, learn and thrive. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University Fullerton and is very involved in the community. She is active in her church and owns an art gallery. Her volunteer contributions to the community have been recognized by Senator Portantino, Assemblymember Holden and the Claremont Village Marketing Group.
Photography by Jacqueline Legazcue. Click a photo for full screen view.