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Amy Cousineau of Children’s Network and Erin Phillips of Children’s Fund
present twin sisters Cia and Lea Perez their scholarships.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Eleven students were awarded scholarship checks from Children’s Fund during the 16th Annual Children’s Network Shine a Light on Child Abuse breakfast held at the National Orange Show on Thursday, March 27, 2014.

This awards breakfast honors those for their outstanding dedication and tireless efforts on behalf of at-risk children in our communities. Amy Cousineau, Network Officer of Children’s Network and her team host this breakfast annually as a way to “shine a light” on those who are making a difference in the lives of children and youth.

“The beauty of this breakfast every year,” says Erin Phillips, President & CEO of Children’s Fund, “is that it highlights the incredible work that people are doing for children in all areas of the county. Children’s Fund is just a part of that. We provide key funding to fill in the gaps of these great programs that are saving the lives of kids. We work with lots of partners to identify the gaps in things that are working well. We are working to connect the dots.”

Approximately 550 watched as honorees were recognized during the awards breakfast. Cardenas Markets, a family-owned business was honored for their community generosity. Last October, Cardenas Markets presented Children’s Fund with a two year $50,000 scholarship grant for foster and former foster youth. Part of those dollars were used in the scholarships awarded at the breakfast. Children’s Fund Board Member, Kay Wick, was honored for her volunteer efforts at the Children’s Assessment Center of San Bernardino County.

Despite their family challenges and entering foster care, twin sisters Cia and Lea Perez have maintained a positive outlook on life, allowing their Christian faith to be a driving force in propelling them forward. Even with transferring to 4 high schools within 4 years, Lea and Cia have been able to maintain their studies and earn passing grades. Both have been accepted to California Baptist University and are scheduled to begin attending in the fall of 2014. Others awarded scholarships included Ingrid Giron, Michale Hamlin, Matri Martin, Jeffery Peterson, Jose Pineda, Sarah Byrne, Cheyann Faux, Tori Ford, and Michael Parham.

The breakfast ended with a special musical performance by Mill Head Start State Preschool “This Little Light of Mine”, which had everyone
in the room smiling and singing along.

Created in 1986, Children’s Fund is a non-profit whose mission is to prevent child abuse in our community; to ensure that at-risk children who are abused, neglected, impoverished, or abandoned receive adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care and education; and to provide equal opportunity for social development for these children. Since its inception, Children’s Fund has served more than 1.3 million children. For more information on Children’s Fund or to learn how you can give a child hope for brighter tomorrows by making a donation, go to www.childrensfundonline.org or call 909.379.0000. Follow us on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/W4Wymf

Contributed Content:  Karen Blanco, Marketing Manager, contributions to this story were provided by Ana Martinez, Children’s Fund 

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