FLOC Celebrates Year 2
Next week FLOC celebrates its two year anniversary and another successful year of partnering with nonprofits to make an impact in the community. In many ways this second year marked FLOC’s transition from operating locally to developing a vision for a much broader organization. Highlights included a name change, the government’s acceptance of our nonprofit status, membership growth and now expansion into multiple chapters outside Orange County. This is a very exciting time for FLOC, for its members and for our numerous charity partners that are finding FLOC as a bridge to engaging young professionals. We are so thankful to every volunteer, member, team leader, the board, our new chapter directors, charity partners and our sponsors that make it all possible. This is a community effort made up of passionate people who are committed to leading their community forward. Congratulations to everyone! Let’s celebrate!!
The following is a history time-line of FLOC’s past year of operation June 2010-May 2011:
Many FLOCers had no idea what Cystic Fibrosis was until Ex. Dir. Mike Shumard and his team of dedicated staff came to the Renaissance Club Sport in Aliso Viejo to share the amazing work of finding a cure for the debilitating lung disease. FLOCers responded by assisting with a wine tasting event in November and helping to bring more awareness to the disease. “Cycstic Fibrosis is an orphan disease. That means there is no money that comes in from the government or drug companies. This means it must come from you, from families, from supporters and people who encourage the research. We know we can’t do this without you!” Mike Shumard, Executive Director, Cystic Fibrosis
Talk about an amazing organization! FLOCers got to learn about the exciting work of Camp Footprints atScott’s Restaurant in Costa Mesa in July. A small group of dedicated volunteers commit an entire week of their summer to helping mentally and physically challenged kids have a mountain camp experience of a lifetime. FLOCers responded by assisting the camp staff in the evenings by spending time with the kids and providing the staff a much needed break. “We were all drawn to this simple mission that there is dignity for all human beings, including children with disabilities and from low income families.” Mike Nguyen, Camp Footprints
The Cliff House in Laguna Beach provided the perfect backdrop for FLOC members to gather and listen to the needs of the AIDS Services Foundation of OC. Members signed up to volunteer with the organization’s upcoming gala and other activities that would be happening in the fall.
“Our Mission is quality of life and prevention. You can volunteer and help make a difference.” Andrea Coulson, AIDS Services Foundation
Sunsets was the bar of choice for FLOC’s September event with Court Appointed Special Advocates. Kendra Puryear, CASA’s Communication Director addressed CASA’s roll in the community and their commitment to advocate for Orange Counties abused and neglected children. During the month of August, FLOC members assisted CASA by helping to organize games and activities at one of its summer picnics. FLOC members also assisted CASA at its holiday party in December.
“It’s just me being there and spending time with her and I know she appreciates it because every time I see her she gives me a huge hug and her eyes sparkle. I know that just being in her life is doing something good!” Laurie Ellen Park, Court Appointed Special Advocate
Newport Beach’s Sutra Club hosted FLOC’s October event with Project Access. New awareness was brought to FLOC members concerning the variety of services that are provided to low income families in Orange County. Following the event, FLOC members adopted families for the holiday by contributing gifts. “100% of the individuals that we surveyed last year said that they felt safer in their communities as a result of project access being there.” Sondra Contino, Director of Marketing, Project Access
Total Volunteers Hours: 60
FLOC partnered with the Emerging Professionals of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce for a laugh filled night at the Irvine IMPROV. 100 FLOCers/EPs attended the event which brought awareness to the nonprofit Families Forward. Later the attendees were entertained by comedian Ian Bagg. Following the event, FLOCers volunteered with Families Forward by delivering Thanksgiving meals to families in San Clemente, CA. “Families Forward has worked really hard to provide a recession response to the south part of Orange County. So many families have been effected…and people looking more like you than me are coming into our food pantry area all the time.” Margie Wakeham, Executive Director of Families Forward.
107 Gift Donated $380 Raised for Charity
FLOCers celebrated the December holiday season with the annual Holiday Charity Crawl and Wrap party. 80 FLOCers attended the festivities which began at the Women’s Community of Laguna Beach and concluded downtown at Hennessey’s Tavern. During the evening FLOC members learned about the nonprofit organization World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) from the local director Ryan Goldsmith. After an organic dinner from La Sirena Grill, FLOCers embarked on a pub crawl involving 6 bars: Blue Laguna, Saloon, White House, Marine Room, Oceans Avenue and Hennessey’s Tavern. At each bar dollars were raised by bar patrons pitching into the “FLOC Holiday Bucket.”
In total, $380 dollars were raised and 100 gifts were collected for needy families. The gifts were later distributed to a Project Access sponsored community center in Santa Ana, CA.
“There are 1500 organic farms across the USA that are looking for host volunteers!” Ryan Goldsmith, World Wide Opportunities of Organic Farms
Total Volunteer Hours: 140
FLOC members began 2011 by gathering at Villa Nova’s in Newport Beach to learn more about the Mental Health Association of Orange County. FLOC member and MHA Board Member Wade Slome began the evening by sharing his on personal experience with the issue and encouraged others to get involved with the organization. Sandy Cusmano, MHA’s Director of Development shared the MHA mission, vision and role in the community. Darlene Powell ended the evening by sharing her experience of working for MHA and dealing personally with mental illness.
Two weeks later 35 FLOC members played a fun softball game with MHA clients from the group “What Ever It Takes” (WIT). The game was followed by a nice BBQ in the park.
“What you find with the mentally ill is that they can lead really productive and fulfilling lives when they get the proper treatment.” Wade Slome, FLOC Professional Member and MHA Board Member
FLOC’s February awareness event took place at the Blue Danube in San Clemente. Jowan Mothershead and Lona Flore shared iHOPE’s mission, vision and role in helping and serving the homeless living near Capo Beach. Following the talk, FLOC members signed up to serve the homeless over the next coming Saturdays through iHOPE’s shower services and homeless resource distribution.
“It’s not just the homeless that we serve, but also the working poor. But we are the lucky ones as we get to learn their story and engage in their lives.” Lona Flore
FLOC partnered with the Young Professional Committee of Big Brothers Big Sisters for a super fun March Mardi Gras party. Over 100 people walked through the door wearing bight masks and colorful outfits. Jamie Grant, Joshua Flatt and Matt D’Abusco shared their passion for the organization and the need for new volunteers/mentors. The event raised $1100 for BBBS and helped fund a “Big Day” at boomers with 25 volunteers and 25 children/teens!
“There are over 125 thousand children in single family homes right now in OC. We have so much more to do and we need you guys!” Jamie Grant BBBS
April’s FLOC event took place at the Regatta Cafe and Lido Theater in Newport Beach. Boys Hope Girls Hope Executive Director Robin Sinclair shared her passion for the organization and the work they do to impact the lives of at risk youth. Following the meeting, FLOCers piled into Lido Theater to watch the inspirational movie “Soul Surfer.” To say the least, it was a major tear jerker. FLOC raised $850 for BHGH at the event which will go towards a backyard refurbish, bench and dinner party with members of BHGH and FLOCers.
“We provide hope in the form of residential, stable, loving environments for “stars,” teens with tremendous potential. We provide the opportunity of an incredible education and our goal is to get these kids to college and to break the cycle of poverty for their families.” Robin Sinclair Boys Hope Girls Hope Executive Director