Olive Crest’s nautically-themed fundraiser at the Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach on April 18 was a heartwarming affair that garnered more than $250,000 to benefit its Project Independence program for at-risk youth and young adults.
The program’s message was brought home at the event by 18-year-old Apple Taylor, who spoke about how Olive Crest lifted her out of an extremely abusive home environment through Project Independence.
The Cal State Fullerton freshman theater major said, “With the help of Olive Crest, I was able to find out who I am. This organization cares passionately about the kids that they help.”
Taylor closed by singing a heartfelt rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables.
Olive Crest CEO Donald A. Verleur spoke about Project Independence.
“Each day, we help to give 1000+ youth the strength, guidance and basic necessities of life, which they need to
become productive and successful adults,” he said. “I have seen first-hand how young adult lives have been saved from a life of abuse or neglect and come to a place where they can graduate from high school, get a job, learn to live with others, and start their own families.”
Bryan Kaltenbach, President of Food4Less, was presented the inaugural Founder’s Award by Olive Crest Founders Dr. Donald and Lois Verleur, With his support, Food4Less has contributed to Olive Crest through numerous events and has raised substantial funds for the children.
Steve Bernardy, Olive Crest Trustee Board President and Merrill Lynch Senior Vice President, was presented Olive Crest’s Champion for the Children Award by OC’s Board Chairman Jim Woodside, who is Vice President at Oltmans Construction Co. Gala Co-Chairs and Olive Crest board members Lorraine Bader and Lori Feeney oversaw the evening’s festive cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, sit-down dinner, and the Golden Ticket opportunity drawing.
Since 1973, Olive Crest has transformed the lives of over 70,000 abused, neglected, and at-risk children and their families. The nonprofit works tirelessly to meet the individual needs of kids in crisis by providing safe homes, counseling and education for both youth and parents.
Visit olivecrest.org for more info.