Ventura County Star: Night for Girls to Raise Funds for Female Foster Youths

Apr 20, 2010

Night for girls to raise funds for female foster youths
By Alicia Doyle
Posted April 20, 2010 at 8:03 p.m.

At a glance
What: Girls’ Night Out fundraiser.

When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday [April 26th].

Where: Candlelight Kitchen and Bar, 211 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura.

Cost: $30 per person or $50 for two.

Reservations: Required by Friday. Visit and click on “News & Events” or call 485-6288, ext. 221.

Next [Monday April 26th], athletes in tuxedos will serve cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Candlelight Kitchen and Bar in Ventura to help female foster youths.

The Girls’ Night Out fundraiser, presented by Meathead Movers and the United Way of Ventura County’s United Women’s Leadership Council, “is such a fun, special event,” said Aaron Steed, co-founder of Meathead Movers, a business known for moving women in domestic violence situations free of charge.

“We’ve all been to boring, stuffy fundraisers. This is much different,” Steed said.

“You gather a few of your girlfriends. Maybe you are treating your mom or sister to a night out … or you are with the girls from the office. As you walk up to the restaurant, you are suddenly greeted by our clean-cut athlete movers who are handsomely attired in tuxes. They offer you an arm, and escort you into a beautifully decorated and lively scene, where you are greeted with a long-stemmed red rose and a glass of champagne.”

Guests are then escorted to their table, where gift bags and appetizers await.

“The evening continues with great music, charming table service from your own personal Meathead, dancing, fun silent auctions, and, what has become the pièce de résistance, the tip competition,” Steed said. “The Meatheads compete to get the most tips from their table — they do pushups, cartwheels, dance-offs and it’s so fun, because every single dollar goes to the foster youth.”

Girls’ Night Out has become the signature event of the United Women’s Leadership Council, said Amy Fonzo, United Way’s vice president of resource development. More than 130 United Ways throughout the country have women’s leadership programs, Fonzo said.

The Ventura County council “represents a local network of individuals dedicated to helping resolve foster care emancipation issues in our community,” Fonzo said.

The council “empowers female foster youth by supporting gaps in transitional services. This benefits the community by reducing the number of foster youth on aid and homelessness by enabling them to acquire the life-long skills to support themselves and in some cases, their families.”

Funds raised Monday6 will be used to administer such services as a mentoring program and a housing assistance project, and provide “emergency funds for special circumstances that come up related to basic needs, child care necessities and transportation issues,” Fonzo said. “The ultimate goal for the event on April 26 is to break the $10,000 mark and increase the awareness of foster youth issues in our county.

“The really sad part is that bad economic conditions increase the amount of hardship, abuse, neglect and hunger that affect children, especially foster children, the most,” Steed said. “So the need for services goes up, but the funding for services is down. It’s imperative to do what we can in hard times.”

In this recession most of us have cut back, Steed said, especially with nonessentials like dining out or taking time to gather with friends for cocktails and dancing. “But in hard times, it is really important to de-stress and reconnect with friends. I think this event is a perfect way to celebrate without feeling guilty about spending money, because the money is going to such a great cause.”


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