By ERIKA MARTIN | Reporter
Palisades families will have the opportunity to celebrate spring while supporting a good cause during the annual Carnival at the Pier hosted by The Angelic Auxiliary of Children’s Bureau.
This year’s benefit is set to take place Sunday, March 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pacific Park on the Pier in Santa Monica.
The family event is chaired by Palisadians Elanor Capuano, Allison Massey, Nicolette McDougall and Karen Sun, along with help from Angelic Auxiliary President Jackie Hassett, Vice President Kathy Outcalt and Treasurer Michelle Habayeb.
An additional 38 Palisadians are involved with the nonprofit as active and advocate members.
Admission includes unlimited amusement park rides, free lunch and carnival snacks, unlimited photo booth photos and carnival game tickets, while proceeds from the event will support Children’s Bureau’s work to prevent child abuse. Tickets are $85 each for adults 16 and older and $40 for children. Children under 3 are granted free entry to the park.
Palisadian Michael Burke, a member of Children’s Bureau Board of Directors and CEO and Chairman of the global infrastructure firm AECOM, said in contrast to the usual suit-and-tie benefit, the Carnival at the Pier offers a unique opportunity to involve the whole family in giving back.
“This event is just a great opportunity to involve families in charitable issues and philanthropy at an early age,” he said. “Given that the mission is all about children, it makes a lot of sense. And of course spending a day at the Santa Monica Pier is always nice.”
The 112-year-old nonprofit provides abuse prevention and treatment services for more than 30,000 at-risk children and parents each year.
Since 2002 the carnival has raised more than $1.4 million to support Children’s Bureau’s mission, and the organization expects to raise another $105,000 this year.
According to Burke, Children’s Bureau is one of the largest investors of child abuse prevention in the country. It “tries to get ahead of the curve and prevent child abuse and neglect,” he said, by using community outreach to teach young parents “how to be better parents before there’s a foster child or adoption situation.”
“Part of the mission that gets me so excited is how we reach out into that community to create a safe, protective and nurturing environment for these children and build it from a grassroots perspective,” Burke added.
About 93 percent of the people who utilize the services of Children’s Bureau either live at or below the poverty line, Burke said, and through his years of involvement with the nonprofit he has been most touched by listening to the stories of young, impoverished parents.
“When you spend some time listening to a mother who had children at a very young age, you learn they want what all of us want—to raise great kids who are productive members of society—but don’t necessarily know how or have access to resources to do that,” he said.
Overall, Burke was confident this year’s event will feature more of what made it such a success in years past—“having fun in the sun, riding the rides, playing the games and catching up with friends.”
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