Friends of the Family
Friends of the Family

2017 Families Matter Benefit and Celebration

The 2017 Families Matter Benefit & Celebration was held Thursday, June 1, at Boulevard 3, a beautiful venue in Hollywood that delighted the approximately 200 guests who attended the annual gala to support the work of Friends of the Family. A bountiful silent auction was artfully displayed in the courtyard garden as guests arrived for cocktail hour and the beginning of a warm and welcoming event.

Audible gasps were heard as guests entered the beautifully appointed ballroom for dinner and the evening’s program. The program was hosted by the always charming Justin Willman, an exciting comedian/magician seen regularly on shows like the Tonight Show, Ellen, Conan, and @Midnight. The audience responded enthusiastically to Justin’s warm humor and truly astonishing magic tricks.

The Family of the Year Award was presented to Sac-Nicte Rojas and Salvador Limon in recognition of their outstanding progress in Friends of the Family programs. With FOF support, the young couple have overcome tremendous obstacles to create a stable loving home for their son, Emiliano, and to pursue their education and career goals. Their award was presented by Deborah Davies, Director of Programs at Friends of the Family.

The highlight of the evening was a rousing speech by FOF Executive Director Susan Kaplan reaffirming the agency’s long-held and particularly timely commitment to social justice and equity for all. Susan then presented the Founders Award to Julie Berger, Executive Director of Audience Networks at Media Storm, in honor of her long-standing commitment to and support of Friends of the Family and the agency’s important work. In 2011 when Julie was at Initiative Media, she developed and produced a musical event called Initiative Rocks that raised over $150,000 for Friends of the Family. Julie has been an ardent supporter of the organization ever since, along with her wife, Sara, and their eight-year-old triplets Sam, Oliver, and Charlotte.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to our Event Committee and everyone who contributed to the event’s success – sponsors, guests, volunteers, entertainers, speakers, 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 services, we thank you!

If you were unable to attend or if you were there and were especially moved, it is not too late to add your support for this important work, please click here.

To view photos from the event, please click here.

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