Husband and wife co-chairs Robert and Janice Dominguez of Long Beach team up to bring a passion for service and diverse experience to this year’s Community Support Campaign, which kicks off on Feb. 12th at 6 p.m. at The Youth Center in Los Alamitos.
With 35 years in public service throughout Southern California and Fresno County, 8 ½ years spent as city manager for Los Alamitos and 4 years as city manager for Placentia, Robert has seen the value of youth programs directly within the community.
“Cities and law enforcement have learned to encourage youth programs in their cities,” said Robert, who has taught in the Graduate Center for Public Policy at Cal State Long Beach for the last 30 years to present. At one time he served for 8 years on The Youth Center Board of Directors, and he has been active in the Rotary for 37 years. For the last 10 years he’s been on the board of directors for Music Theatre West and Business Consumer Alliance. He is Senior Advisor for city managers in the Gateway Cities and South Bay areas in Los Angeles County.
Janice met Robert while he was an intern in the City of Lakewood, where she ran their printing department. They married and she was a stay at home mother to their two sons, Joel and Jared, during which time she volunteered in the local schools. Both she and Robert were active for more than 15 years in the Cub and Boys Scouts while their sons were growing up. One of their sons, Joel, is now a psychologist for Kaiser Permanente, and their other son, Jared, is a mechanical engineer.
After raising her sons, Janice went back to school and got her Registered Veterinarian Technician license, later volunteering at the Wetlands and Wildlife Center in Huntington Beach caring for animals affected by oil spills. Her license is the equivalent to being a registered nurse. She has also volunteered at the Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty (SPCA), and has been a foster mother to kittens for two years. She currently is a member of the Women’s Club in Seal Beach, and now travels in her retirement.
“It’s not just babysitting,” said Janice. “Youth programs teach life skills and are a vital part of the community.”
“We want to educate people about what The Youth Center does and speak about the children who have been raised with it,” said Bob. “The longevity of The Youth Center says a lot about their programs, and how they successfully engage young people. They have been around before the city was here.”
Bob has read when someone fundraises they have to ask at least 10 people to contribute. He feels the other part of fundraising is to simply outline what The Youth Center does for children and their families.
“I want to inform people exactly where their contributions are going and it’s 100 percent for services and not administration,” he added.
While he was on The Youth Center Board of Directors, Bob saw programs grow, thought it was a lot of fun and felt it was very fulfilling. Both he and Janice were asked by Youth Center Executive Director Lina Lumme to be this year’s campaign chair-people. They have known Lumme from the time she started as an after school program staff member under former Executive Director Tom Stretz, feeling she enthusiastically embodies the very spirt of The Youth Center.
“We couldn’t turn her down,” said Bob.
“Lina is amazing,” added Janice. “She’s come a long ways in her life. We both definitely feel inspired by her.”
Bob and Janice hope to improve and top what was fundraised in last year’s Community Support Campaign.
At the closing of this year’s Community Support Campaign, The Youth Center will be holding their inaugural A Night of Inspiration Gala celebrating 1 million hours of service to youth since 1952 on March 16 at the Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach. If you are interested in raising or contributing funds for their award-winning programs and/or attending the gala, please go online to www.theyouthcenter.org or call the office at 562-493-4043.
This article was released by The Youth Center.