The 2016 Families Matter Benefit & Celebration was held on Wednesday, June 8, at the SmogShoppe in Culver City, a new venue for this event and one that drew rave reviews from attendees. 200 guests enjoyed a lovely evening in support of Friends of the Family’s work to change the trajectory of the lives of struggling children, families, and communities right here in Los Angeles.
Guests enjoyed sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and spirits as they shopped the extensive silent auction beautifully displayed in the lovely indoor-outdoor setting of the venue. Music was provided by DJ Kris while Johnny Ace Palmer, Champion Magician, entertained with astonishing magic tricks. Auction bidding became quite competitive and raffle tickets sold briskly due to the attractive prizes which included tickets for a performance of the LA run of the hit Broadway show, Hamilton.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the 2016 Family of the Year Award to Jesse Morfin and Magaly Leyva, a young couple who have already overcome daunting obstacles to earn their college degrees while working full time and raising their two young sons. Sadly, Magaly was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin Lymphoma.* But this brave young couple is determined to meet and beat this diagnosis with the support of their families, friends, and Friends of the Family. Jesse confirmed he would be Magaly’s partner for this fight and beyond by surprising her (and everyone else at the event) by dropping to his knee to ask her to marry him. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after this beautiful testament to the power of support, love, and the human spirit.
Again, we extend our heartfelt thanks to our Event Committee and everyone who contributed to the event’s success – sponsors, guests, volunteers, and auction donors. The proceeds from this event provide crucial support for the work of Friends of the Family. On behalf of all the children and families who benefit from FOF programs, we thank you!
*Several event guests inquired about how they could contribute to the Go Fund Me account that Jesse and Magaly have set up to help with their looming medical expenses. Here is the link to that account: Magaly Leyva - Help me fight Cancer and Win!