One of the many traditions of the Shakespeare Club of Pasadena is to donate toys to the Friends of Foster Children for Christmas. The Club first became interested in the Friends of Foster Children after staffing the Sugar Plum Tree project in the late 1970s. Many of the Club members continue to support this project each year. To continue their tradition, the Philanthropy Department of the Club headed by Chairman Monica Forgey, collected donations from Club Members and friends and went shopping on November 25th with FOFC staff members with long lists in hand. The items purchased during the Toys R Us shopping day were distributed based on the wishes of the children at the group homes and the needs of the facilities. The shopping lists were made based on those wishes. Additional cash donations were also given to FOFC bringing the total donation to $3068.00
The Shakespeare Club has been involved with Friends of Foster Children almost since its inception in 1976. Friends of Foster Children (FOFC) is a non-profit organization composed entirely of volunteers who share a deep concern for children. They have no paid staff. These children are those who must live apart from their families due to neglect, abandonment, illness or family dysfunction. FOFC also assist newly emancipated foster teens as they learn to set up their own homes, continue their education, and struggle to be self-supporting
Steve Wittmer, Friends of Foster Children Sugar Plum, told us that over 450 local foster children who live in residential treatment centers had their Christmas wishes hung on the Sugar Plum Trees at Westfield Santa Anita in Arcadia again this past year. Gifts were purchased for those children whose tags were not picked or were never returned to insure that every child received a gift. Gifts and donations of wrapping paper were forwarded to the following childrenâ€™s centers:
– Bienvenidos Foster Care Services
– Ettie Lee Youth and Family Services
Hathaway-Sycamores Child & Family Services Helen Evans Home Hillsides Hope House for the Multiple-Handicapped LeRoy Haynes Center for Children & Family Services Rosemary Childrenâ€™s Services Trinity Youth Services – El Monte
The needs of Emancipated foster youth from FKCE-Independent Living Programs Transitional Independent Living Program Youth Moving On, were also included.
Another of the Club’s traditions is to present Broadway musical benefit productions to the community. This year the club will be presenting “Nunsense – The Mega Musical” along with a pre-theatre party on March 6th, 7th and 8th at their clubhouse on Grand Ave. in Pasadena. The book, music and lyrics are by Greg Goggin. For more information about the production and pre-theatre party or to purchase tickets ($50.00 per person), please call (626) 587-9440 or visit their website @ www.shakespeareclub.org. Net proceeds will fund the scholarship program for graduating seniors in the Pasadena Unified School District and on-going programs of the Shakespeare Club.
The Shakespeare Club consists of a diverse group of energetic women who enjoy the many social, philanthropic and theatrical opportunities that this organization has to offer. The Club accepts new members year-round and encourages those who may be interested in joining to contact Membership Chairman, Rebecca Harris, (626) 375-0759. For more information about the Shakespeare Clubâ€™s philanthropic endeavors, events, membership and past productions, please visit their website www.shakespeareclub.org.