Waymakers, a nonprofit organization committed to providing high-quality counseling and support services to struggling OC children and families at their greatest time of need, recently celebrated the 12th anniversary of re-opening the doors of the Huntington Beach Youth Shelter, a short-term intervention “safe-haven” for runaway, homeless and at-risk children ages 11-17. More than 200 community members and Waymakers supporters proudly gathered for an open house and anniversary reception during the early evening to hear the positive impact and resources the Waymakers Huntington Beach Youth Shelter has provided over the years to more than 1,400 sheltered youth and their families.
Waymakers recognized honorees for their notable involvement and support of Waymakers’ Huntington Beach Youth Shelter, including:
Mission Viejo resident Nancy Monte-Frye, senior director of events, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, received the “Unsung Hero Award” for her continuous commitment to youth going through crises. Nancy plays a significant role behind the scenes of the nonprofit’s annual “Love Grows by Giving” fundraiser, helping to secure food and wine vendors. She and her team at the Hyatt also visit the youth shelter twice a year to decorate the living space and to refurbish snowflakes for the “Light a Light of Love” annual event.
Huntington Beach resident David Segura, fire chief, city of Huntington Beach, received the “Distinguished Partner Award” for his efforts as part of the shelter’s advisory council to ensure Waymakers provides a safe haven for at-risk youth. David also serves as a vital connection between the shelter and the city of Huntington Beach.
Orange County resident and shelter volunteer Alberto Pianelli received the “Inspiration Award” for exemplifying a spirit of volunteerism and commitment. Alberto is a certified drug and alcohol counselor that meets with the shelter’s residents once a week to provide both group and individual therapy. In addition to his therapy sessions, Alberto and his family support Waymakers’ fundraising events and encourage other individuals and organizations to get involved in volunteering with the shelter.
Business partner Project Social T was presented with the “Philanthropist Award” for their support for the past 3 years, totaling over $40,000. Project Social T often hosts fun days out for the shelter residents including, LA Dodgers games and beach barbeques.
Huntington Beach resident, Dann Bean, owner, Main Street Wine Company, received the “Outstanding Service Award” for his hard work and dedication to the Youth Shelter and its residents. As a part of the shelters advisory council and wine committee, Dann is often there when the nonprofit needs a helping hand and often introduces the nonprofit to new individuals and organizations.
Benefactors Tom and Cynthia Coad were honored with the “Stand by Me Award” for their outstanding commitment to those served by Waymakers. Tom is a retired dentist and financial planner and Cynthia is a former Orange County Supervisor and advocate for children’s rights. Together, their varied careers and involvement with multiple charitable and arts organizations demonstrate their dedication to those in need in our community. Tom first became involved with the Waymakers Board in 2005 and Tom and Cynthia are annual sponsors of Waymakers’ “Light a Light of Love” event and have been longtime supporters of the organization’s Gang Prevention and Outreach Programs as well as the youth shelter for over 15 years.
Waymakers also started their “What a Difference a Dollar Makes” Drive with the goal to raise $1,000 per group participating. Each participant is encouraged to collect dollars/change in a unique and creative way, while creating awareness to support the young adults who are residents at the Huntington Beach Youth Shelter. This year, the Huntington Beach Youth Shelter recognized 40 community groups and businesses who helped raise over $20,000 for the “What a Difference a Dollar Makes” campaign.
During the event, youth at the Huntington Beach Youth Shelter visually displayed the culmination of the “What a Difference a Dollar Makes” drive by spreading thousands of dollars in change throughout the shelter grounds.
Since opening its doors twelve years ago, the Waymakers’ Huntington Beach Youth Shelter has helped over 1,400 homeless, runaway and struggling Orange County youth, most who are trying to cope with issues kids should never face, such as early-childhood trauma, along with their families. The trained staff has an excellent success rate of reuniting children with their families, over 92 percent, by finding solutions to the problems that hinder them the most.
The Waymakers’ Huntington Beach Youth Shelter, along with the Laguna Beach Youth Shelter and the Tustin Youth Shelter, is not just a place to stay, as they provide a place for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth 24/7, 365 days a year.
Every day throughout Orange County, people find hope after trauma. They don’t simply survive; they find ways to heal – all with the help of Waymakers. Our ten model programs guide over 120,000 abused children, crime victims, struggling families, acting-out adolescents and people needing mediation services annually. Waymakers has been sheltering children, supporting victims, counseling families, resolving conflicts and educating communities in Orange County since 1972.
This article was released by Waymakers.