Olive Crest Presents 2nd Annual "Stars In Adoption" Awards, Celebrating National Adoption Awareness Month and Honoring Children, Adoptive Parents and Individuals

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Olive Crest, the acclaimed nonprofit that provides a wide range of services—including foster and adoption services—for at-risk children and teens and their families, presented more than a dozen “Stars In Adoption” Awards at the event. Hosted by KCBS/KCAL weather anchor Kaj Goldberg, and emceed by Los Angeles Times columnist and ESPN personality Bill Plaschke, a longtime Olive Crest supporter, the evening featured a host of celebrated honorees and presenters, including Fox Sports Net’s Michael Eaves; Jay Glazer from Fox Sports NFL coverage and co-founder of MMAthletics; Judge John J. Henning of the Los Angeles Superior Court; well know adoption attorney Mark Hirabayashi; George Pla, CEO of the Cordoba Corporation; Michaela Pereira co-anchor of KTLA Morning News; Jonnie Russell of the rock group The Cold War Kids; and actor Perry King (“Big Love”), who serves as Chairman of Olive Crest’s Los Angeles Board of Trustees.

"I want kids to know that you can pursue your dreams, no matter they are. Always strive to be the best you can be!” says Michael Eaves, broadcaster and sports journalist for Fox Sports Net.

In celebration of National Adoption Awareness Month (November), and to raise awareness about the need for adoptive families and the work that Olive Crest is doing in Los Angeles County, Olive Crest recently held its second annual “Stars In Adoption” Awards at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Hosted by KCBS/KCAL weather anchor Kaj Goldberg, and emceed by Los Angeles Times columnist and ESPN personality Bill Plaschke, a longtime Olive Crest supporter, the evening featured a host of celebrated honorees and presenters, including Fox Sports Net’s Michael Eaves; Jay Glazer from Fox Sports NFL coverage and co-founder of MMAthletics; Judge John J. Henning of the Los Angeles Superior Court; well know adoption attorney Mark Hirabayashi; George Pla, CEO of the Cordoba Corporation; Michaela Pereira co-anchor of KTLA Morning News; Jonnie Russell of the rock group The Cold War Kids; and actor Perry King (“Big Love”), who serves as Chairman of Olive Crest’s Los Angeles Board of Trustees.

Olive Crest, the acclaimed nonprofit that provides a wide range of services—including foster and adoption services—for at-risk children and teens and their families, presented more than a dozen “Stars In Adoption” Awards at the event.

“This evening is an opportunity to share some of the most amazing examples of human grace, love and generosity,” said William A. Bedrossian, Olive Crest’s Executive Director for the Los Angeles region. “The children, families, and individuals being honored here tonight are changing the world around them, with their stories of compassion and redemption through adoption.”

Among those receiving awards were:

Michael Eaves, broadcaster and sports journalist for Fox Sports Net. As an adoptee himself, Michael has served as an inspiration to adoptive children everywhere. In accepting his award, Eaves said, “I want kids to know that you can pursue your dreams, no matter they are. Always strive to be the best you can be!” Joining Eaves on the stage, all the way from Kentucky, was his adoptive mother Elsie Eaves, who said, “Michael has been special from the first day he came to my home, I am just overwhelmed to see all these people here, to honor him.” Presenting Eaves with his Star in Adoption award, was longtime friend Michaela Pereira of KTLA, who is also an adoptee. Michaela shared, “I am just so proud of how Michael has used his strength, influence and charisma to share his story of adoption and to inspire others, who were adopted, like us.”

Attorney Mark Hirabayashi for his ongoing adoption advocacy work in Los Angeles. Mark has facilitated the finalization of over 3000 adoptions in Los Angeles during his esteemed career.

George Pla, founder and CEO of the Cordoba Corporation for his generosity as a corporate partner to Olive Crest.

Judge John Henning, of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Edelman Children’s Court, for his leadership and responsibility in finalizing hundreds of adoptions in his “Adoption Court room”, every year.

Adoptive parents Kip and Renee Dochterman of La Habra Heights; Alfredo and Analisa Flores of Sylmar and Heather and Mark Buck of Lakewood, for serving as great inspirations and role models for other families considering adoption. “Receiving this award is a huge honor,” said Kip Dochterman, who along with his wife, specifically sought out to adopt an older child who might not otherwise have a chance to have a family, “But we have been far more blessed by having Pamela in our lives. She has brought more joy to our family than we could have ever imagined!”

Five brave teens from South Los Angeles: Gabby Flores (13, of East LA), Alex Flores (15, of East LA), Miguel Contreras (15, of Bell Gardens), Stefany Vasquez (15, of Huntington Park) and Cindy Serratos (17, of Huntington Park) were a part of the second group of youth to share their voices in Olive Crest’s successful Digital Storytelling program, The program is the first of its kind to be used with adopted youth in Southern California.

The event served as a “world premiere” for the short videos (2½ to 4 minutes in length), which explored topics of disappointment, grief, hope and gratitude: Gabby’s video spoke about her entrance in the foster system at 4-years-old and events leading up to her adoption; Alex revisits memories of her birth mom and the hope she carries for her future wholeness; Miguel shares how going into protective custody allowed him the freedom to be a child for the first time; Stefany, after experiencing the loss of her mother, shares a story full of both grief and faith; and Cindy’s story is a tribute of love and gratitude to the grandmother who adopted her. Gayle Ali, from the Center for Digital Storytelling, was also recognized for helping to launch Olive Crest’s Digital Storytelling Program.

Other celebrated participants in the “Stars in Adoption” awards included: screenwriter Kim Watson (“Honey”); Nick Ippolito, Deputy to the Honorable Supervisor Don Knabe; casting director Heidi Tuttle; Jennifer Vernon, Senior VP at Live Nation, and Bob Saunders, VP, Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney. Olive Crest’s 2nd Annual Stars in Adoption Awards evening was sponsored by the Cordoba Corporation, The Nielsen Company and Caribou Industries.

Media Contact
Carrie Cornwall; (714) 543-5437, ext. 1426, Carrie-Cornwall(at)olivecrest(dot)org

About Olive Crest
Since 1973, Olive Crest has transformed the lives of over 50,000 abused, neglected, and at-risk children and their families. We work tirelessly to meet the individual needs of kids in crisis by providing safe homes, counseling, and education for both youth and parents. Our many innovative programs reflect our conviction that strengthening the family is one of the most powerful ways to help heal children. With unwavering compassion, the Olive Crest family maintains a lifelong commitment to the youth and families we serve even after they have graduated from our programs.

Olive Crest serves nearly 1,000 children and families each day throughout California, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest. For information call 1-800-550-CHILD (2445) or visit http://www.olivecrest.org.

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Carrie Corwall
Olive Crest
714-543-5437 1426
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