Fundraiser Pays Tribute to Helen Reid Volunteers

December 21, 2015

Santa Monica raised more than $60,000 for the Helen Reid Parenting Program (HRPP), a new addition to Providence Saint John’s Health Center’s Child and Family Development Center (CFDC).

The dinner’s stars? The 15 dedicated volunteers honored with the Helen Reid Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Development: Lezlie Atlas, Gayle Brohner, Judy Dubin, Linda Glasser, Renee Kass, Barbara Kingsley, Bernice Miller, Maxine Mintzer, Bobbie Poledouris, Laura Rabin, Madeline Schwartzman, Linda Schoenman, Joan Simon, Agnes Thaler and Barbara Trikonis (in memoriam).

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The program, which joined the Saint John’s family in July, is an ideal match with the center’s other birth to 5 programs, says CFDC executive director Rebecca R. Refuerzo, LCSW. It expands the CFDC’s outreach to five additional transitional housing programs.

Previously known as the Early Childhood Parenting Center, the HRPP has served the community since 1971, focusing on the social-emotional development of children from birth to age 5. The HRPP provides families who are coping with issues or circumstances that place them at risk, such as homelessness, domestic violence and children with developmental disabilities with support and information. Currently the program sponsors 10 on-site parenting education groups and also offers individual and family therapy. Services are free of charge.

“There are a lot of amazing things going on,” says Nancy Ezra, PhD, director of early intervention services with the CFDC, noting that the program’s affiliation with Saint John’s has allowed it to increase the scope and reach of the services the HRPP offers.

The partnership ensures that the legacy of founder Helen Reid will continue and flourish, says advisory board chairman Richard Thaler.

To support the Child Family Development Center activities and programs, please call Wendy Merritt at 310-829-8443.