Weekend Benefit to Raise Money for Life-Changing Surgeries for Kids

Sandra in El SaLVADOR

Sandra is a little girl from El Salvador who sent a photo of a thank you sign she made to her Host family in the U.S., broadcasters Dorothy Lucey and David Goldstein and their son Nash, who cared for her for 4 months.

Triunfo Creek Vineyards in Agoura Hills will once again be the setting for Mending Kids festive cocktail party set amongst the rolling vineyards and majestic oaks. On Saturday, April 26, the community will gather to have a memorable afternoon while raising money to provide life-changing surgeries for kids in need right here at home.

This is the second annual “Hometown Mission” celebration sponsored by the Malibu Guild of Mending Kids, and 90 percent of every dollar raised  goes directly toward helping the children. Last year, the event raised enough money for 18 children from six months to 18 years to undergo successful surgeries at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center under the skilled hands of eight renowned volunteer surgeons led by Andrew Freedman, M.D., all of whom will be honored at this year’s event.

“Last year this event raised over $50,000 which was able to fund surgeries for 18 children, from removing massive cysts to orthopedic and heart surgeries,” said JoAnn Geffen, event spokesperson. “The doctors who performed those surgeries are, in fact, being honored at this weekend’s event … We are hoping to far exceed that amount this year so we can help more kids.”

Mel with child

Actor Mel Gibson, a major supporter of the non-profit, attends to a child on an international mission.

In underdeveloped countries, where medical care is virtually non-existent, it takes surprisingly little money to fund surgeries–$50 for medical supplies for one surgery, $2,500 for open heart surgery to save a child’s life, Geffen said.

“The best part is that part of the goal of Mending Kids is to make the facilities and doctors in less fortunate areas self-sustaining after no more than five annual surgical missions. To date, MK is responsible for over 1600 life-altering surgeries in 54 countries,” she said.

Celebrities who are expected to attend include Camille Grammer, Ali Landry, Joanna Krupa (Real Housewife of Miami & Dancing w/ the Stars), Amy Weber (WWE Diva), Eric Roberts, Linda Thompson, Lane Garrison (Camp X-Ray, Prison Break)

Laurie & Dr.

Laurie Dugan, President of the Board of Directors of the charity, with a surgeon on a mission last year.

The stories of these children will unfold during a dance performance collaborated between Petra Berg, partner of fashion label +BERYLL and Shauna Walker, internationally renowned choreographer and dancer.  “The Love Project” is an adapted version of the dance short film “Solara” by Shauna Walker, which was nominated for the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. This performance, debuting at this event before an international tour, portrays a group of people from different walks of life coming together by a shared desire to make some kind of difference–much as participants of ‘Come Home” will be doing.

Mending Kids, based out of Burbank, welcomes pediatric surgical candidates from both the United States and abroad. Vetted Host Families from all over Los Angeles County and beyond make certain that the living arrangements and emotional needs are provided for these young patients.  They often travel long distances alone and away from everything they have ever known, and from communities where there is little or no access to adequate or specialized surgical care.

Click here to purchase tickets.


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