Five Acres Round Up Fundraiser Features Fun for a Serious Cause

Bill Hayden, Brian Mulligan, Olivia LaVoice, Kevin Allyn, Willy MarshBrianDennis,JillDennis,MarkLim, KevinKimChannel Boutakidis, Andrew Crowell, Keri CrowellChris Kerns, Natasha ZaharovCool shotDavid Quigg, Sandy Walia, Cynthia NickellEmily Street and Megan AbelFive Acres Round Up Fundraiser Features Fun for a Serious CauseJames Hillman, Don Bishop, Rick RobinsJay Davis and John MartinJohn Berger, Meta Berger, Jay Berger, Sean StellarKathy and Bill Wishner, Carmen BenitezKeith Clark, Boris Beljak, Steve ChavezKevin JimLily Pierce, Maya Carvajal, Ian FloresMarc Gittleman, Tamara Gittleman, Maria VelasquezPam Loe-Watson and Chad WatsonPaola Mork, Jennie McNulty, Kelly Carpiac, Leah Mason, Heather TimmonsScott and Emily Street, Billy and Megan AbelTerry and Leah NoriegaMatthew and Heather Lillard

Story and Photography by MONICA TERADA

1:54 pm | October 6, 2015


“So what happens to the children and babies that have to enter the foster care system?” asked Channel Boutakidis, CEO of Five Acres, Monday night at Annandale Golf club where their fundraiser, dinner Round Up took place.

Five Acres is a child and family services agency, committed to helping children establish safe and permanent housing solutions. Many members of the community came out to their dinner Round Up, wearing cowboy hats and boots, including actor, Matthew Lillard (Scream and Scooby-Doo) and his wife, Heather Lillard.

Outside there was an electric bull for the daring guests who were willing to give it a shot; such was the case for Brian Ree and Kevin Kim. Both were defeated by the bull, however.

Inside, the entertainment was the live bluegrass band, Pam Loe and Hipshot. Guests got up for the Cowboy Boogie, as the country music filled up the room. There were also country-style signature cocktails and an URB-E electric scooter, waiting to be raffled off at the end of the night.

But when time came for Boutakidis to speak about the children, the tone was serious and her voice earnest. To answer her question in regards to what happens to children in the foster care system, Boutakidis played a video, one which depicted the lives of foster care children. For example, siblings who had to be separated, because as Boutakidis pointed out, we do not live in a perfect world where two beds are available in the same house.

“I’ve watched it plenty of times, but every single time it’s still just as difficult,” said Boutakidis, in regards to the video. She added that she did not mean to traumatize anyone by showing the video, but rather inform the public about the “real and current situation in our community.”

In order to help this real and current situation, a live auction was held. The Patio Furniture and Fire Pit set was auctioned off for over $7000 and the Pasadena Police Helicopter Ride Along sold for $3500.

“There are more children in need than we have capacity for,” said Boutakidis. “Just in the last month we have served 1009 children. That includes a six-year-old who waited in a welcome center for seven nights. That includes a sibling set of three brothers, five-years-old, two-years-old and 18-months. The county worker was going to separate them but we were able to keep them together.”

The guests sat quietly at their dinner table, the bluegrass music was no longer playing and the Cowboy boogie dancers had retired to their seats. All eyes were fixed on Boutakidis.

“The reason why we are here tonight is because we are the community that actually changes this,” said Boutakidis, in regards to their lack of capacity for all the children in need. “And I’m not talking about change that’s going to come. I’m talking about a community that changes it now.”

For more about Five Acres, visit www.5acres.org.