Pam Mahon: Using her Talents, Time and Connections for Hillsides
Pam Mahon has been involved with Hillsides for more than 25 years when she helped form a young professional group and went on to serve on Hillsides board. She’s also been very involved in our annual gala, where she served as the 2003 chair and has been a committee member for the last 15 years. Each year, Pam books, arranges, and oversees all the musical portions of the gala. She also arranges luxury packages, such as trips to London and Las Vegas, which raise tens of thousands of dollars for Hillsides during the auction portion of the event. In addition, she has used her vast contacts in the music world to pull in several notable musicians to our honorary gala committee, from the composer and songwriter James Newton Howard to members of The Elton John Band, including her husband, percussionist John Mahon. In addition, Pam was an original committee member of Foster Soles, an annual fundraiser that auctioned off celebrity items for Hillsides, where she was key in procuring donated items. Over the years, Pam has also supported the teens in the satellite homes, adopted Hillsides families over the holidays, and created a weekend music program for the children on our main campus. Pam says that her time volunteering at Hillsides has provided her with many wonderful friendships, and we are proud and honored to count her as one of our friends.
Kevin Wong: Bringing Innovation and Energy to one of Hillsides Support Groups
Kevin Wong found Hillsides through a Google search. Four years ago, feeling like his life was off-balance because he was working long hours as an investment consultant, he searched for a local children’s nonprofit where he could volunteer. Hillsides popped up on his screen, and after doing some research, he became convinced that we were a good match for his efforts. He joined the Hillsides Volunteer Network (HVN), and quickly set about transforming it with his energy and innovative ideas. He modernized the group by creating an on-line page where all of the group’s reports, minutes, and events are stored and easily accessible. He became a member of the board, serving as social chair, and arranged a happy hour and helped plan HVN’s 20th year anniversary party, which saw the group’s membership double. He opened up his loft at The Brewery Arts Complex to display artwork created by the children in our residential program during The Brewery’s annual ArtWalk, exposing potentially thousands of new supporters to Hillsides. From social chair he went on to become communications chair, and this year he will serve as co-chair of HVN. You never know where a Google search will lead you, and are we happy it led Kevin to Hillsides.
Rachael Worby: Making Beautiful Music at Hillsides
Rachael Worby is well-known as the dynamic artistic director, conductor, and founder of MUSE/IQUE – a counter-conventional orchestra based in Pasadena, California. However, she is also committed to redefining communities, and to nurturing and healing disenfranchised children who face uncertain and possibly compromised futures. For the last five years, 12 – 15 times a year, Rachael has brought world-class performers to the Hillsides campus to provide musical programs for the children. The breadth and depth of the musicians include famous solo singers, world-renowned harp players, tap dancers, string quartets, brass ensembles, guitar players, and even a percussionist who laid down his beats on a typewriter. “We have always worked diligently to mine the field for the great living artists, knowing that to mesmerize the kids at Hillsides, we need to have a mesmerizing performance,” says Rachael. Due to Rachael, the children have become musically literate, and their transformation has been amazing to watch. Beyond exposing children to music, Rachael’s goal is to provide the children with a regular commitment they can count on that will offset any losses and abandonment and boost their self-esteem. Says Rachael: “We want the children to know this: You are loved, you are smart, you are cherished, you are not forgotten, and you understand music as well as anybody else on this earth.”
Fellowship Monrovia Serves Up Love and Compassion Through Pizza Parties
From 2012-2013, Mark Chase worked at Hillsides as a cottage worker. There he found his stride working with the children, and became passionate about Hillsides vision and mission. When he left Hillsides to become the pastor at Fellowship Monrovia church, he knew he had to keep helping the children. “They left a mark on me I couldn’t forget,” he says. At Fellowship Monrovia, congregation members are encouraged to go beyond attending church on Sunday mornings, and to join a Life Group so that they can “truly know others, and truly be known themselves.” Mark took it upon himself to encourage these groups to spend their Saturdays at Hillsides throwing pizza parties for the children and playing games. Volunteers from Fellowship Monrovia now come on campus every month, and the children say it is one of the highlights of their days. Mark hopes that Fellowship Monrovia will continue to support Hillsides in the future in even more ways, as it is his personal mission to get as many parishioners involved with Hillsides as possible.