10th Annual Happy House Tourney Biggest Ever
On May 30th at Nancy’s home, those most famous words that are music to a poker player’s ear were uttered once again to kick off our 10th annual Happy House Fundraiser. “Shuffle Up and Deal!” Nancy called out…and the big tournament with nearly 200 players began! This year was the same in many ways: cards, good friends, good food and great fun, but it was very different in many key ways from years past. First, we focused this year entirely on the tournament and we didn’t do the parallel family fair. This simplified matters greatly and kept our attention on the fundraising aspects of the tourney. Probably not a surprise that this was our biggest poker tournament to date! The differences didn’t stop there. We welcomed Budweiser are our first official beer sponsor and Rosie’s Barbeque brought in the most delicious roasted chicken, burgers and dogs! Man, was that delish! LA Racing outdid itself with fantastic racing packages for everyone and Fox also stepped up as in year’s past. We had so many great sponsors – Jakks Pacific, the LAPD Air Support Division and the LA Clippers Foundation, Dave Meltzer and Affliction Watches just to name a few – and we encourage you to look over the information on our site and support these businesses large and small. The biggest change was that we joined forces with LAPD Lt Mike Burditt and combined two tournaments into one. He was able to benefit his Relay for Life, American Cancer Society and we were able to help Happy House. The big winner this year was Jay Powers who did a masterful job at the final table just edging out Bill Dederick and John Groce. The top three picked from a The Simpsons prize that included a Table Read, a Goodyear Blimp ride–courtesy of Daniel’s Tires–and a giant racing package from our friends at LA Racing. But the real winners were the kids who will benefit from these funds and those facing the hard road of cancer. Thank you one and all for your contributions and for having such a fun time.
Good Choices Graduates in Watts
These 5 great male leaders (plus 2 stellar females) for our future, from Watts, California’s For Kids About Kids After School Program finished the How to Make Good Choices Program this past week. They will be honored on June 6th at the Stepping Stones Awards Banquet at 3pm at the Inglewood Community Center. They making a Better Tomorrow by being drug free and conquering illiteracy and following a moral compass to success, productivity and happiness. Address of Awards Banquet: 8039 S Vermont Ave., Los Angeles CA 90044 All are welcome.
Join Silicon Valley’s “Day of Giving”
May 5th is designated as Silicon Valley’s “Day of Giving”. This special day is designed to pull people together and raise funds for non-profits all over Santa Clara County. Here is one example of why we are spreading the word about our organization, Happy House Community United San José. Real kids, real help, true story! The boy in this picture attends the Starbird Youth Center in San Jose. Last year, it was discovered that he couldn’t read (at age 11). Not only that, but he was missing his two front teeth. With the help of Community United’s Summer Literacy Program, and the amazing care of CUSJ staff and volunteers, he now has new teeth AND he can read! And this is just one example of the hundreds of kids who attend our youth centers. Our of the Happy House San Jose chapter is to provide opportunities for at-risk youth, away from the lure of gangs, drugs and crime. We are committed to helping youth lead happier, creative and more productive lives. Here is how you can support the cause: Go to this web page and make a donation, large or small, on or before May 5th. When you do so, “Silicon Valley Gives” WILL MATCH IT! You don’t have to wait until May 5th, you can SCHEDULE YOUR DONATION NOW! If you can’t donate, please do any of the following: a) Forward this email to your contacts b) Share this story (and the below link) with your contacts c) Post the below link onto your Facebook page or other social media outlets to encourage others to participate http://svgives.razoo.com/story/Community-United-San-Jose Thank you so much for your support!
Good Choices for Easter in Campbell
Youth and Good Choices Program graduates from the Happy House Community United Starbird Youth Center marched in the 17th Annual Bunnies and Bonnets Parade in Campbell this past Easter. This annual tradition features marching bands, baton dancers, classic cars, community groups, local organizations, and more. It’s a wonderful Campbell tradition entire families enjoy every year. The parade followed the Annual Campbell Eggstravaganza, held at the Campbell Community Center. Residents came over from the Easter Egg hunt and grabbed a spot on the sidewalk to watch the parade. The Downtown Campbell Business Association also gave out chalk and bubbles to the kiddies!
KPMG Volunteers Have Dodgeball, Pizza and Fun with the Kids at the Starbird Youth Center
Volunteers from the Santa Clara office of International accounting and professional services company KPMG came to work with the kids at Happy House Community United Starbird Youth Center in San Jose. The folks from KPMG donated playground equipment to the center (dodgeballs and footballs), added new books to their library, and had a fun-filled afternoon playing games and treating the kids to a pizza party. But it wasn’t just the kids who had a ton of fun: You have no idea how much our team enjoyed the event. We came there to serve the kids, but they in turn served us even more. As auditors, we are always so busy and so “stressed out,” that giving back and taking the time to volunteer, especially with such a great organization as yours, helped us to remember there’s so much more that we can do to leave a positive impact in others as well as ourselves! —Pamela A. Parian, Audit Associate | KPMG LLP The KPMG Volunteers had a great impact on the kids: I wanted to let you know that your group had a very positive impact on the youth. They have been playing dodgeball every day this week and they asked when your team would be coming back.—Stephanie Black, Site Coordinator
The International Day of Happiness Comes to Columbus, Ohio
Monique Williams, head of the Columbus Happy House Mentoring group, helped forward the United Nations International Day of Happiness (officially set for March 20th every year) with a variety of activities. Monique Williams attended the Spring Sports Banquet at the Linden Recreational Center (where she delivers the How to Make Good Choices (based on The Way to Happiness) Program. Granville Waiters, former basketball star athlete who played for Portland, Indiana, Houston and then the Chicago Bulls (yes, he played with Michael Jordan!), was the keynote speaker for the event. Granville owns several preschools in the Linden-Columbus area, and is a good friend to Linden’s fine Executive Director, Mr. Pace. Monique gifted Granville with The Way to Happiness and How to Make Good Choices booklets prior to his talk, and here you can see Granville speaking to the kids and parents holding his new books! Monique and her daughter Suzanne distributed The Way to Happiness and How to Make Good Choices around town to help directly forward the message of the Day of Happiness, warming hearts on a chilly March day.
The Shining Kids at Santa Barbara’s Boys & Girls Club
On Thursday, 29 January 2015 some of the Happy House crew traveled to Santa Barbara to help the Boys & Girls Club celebrate their annual Awards for staff, volunteers, Board members and the kids in its 77th year in operation! It was a wonderful scene packed with shining, happy kids who love coming to the center and staff, board members and contributors who love them and love enriching their lives. On any given day in the summer months, there are anywhere from 160 to 200 children in the facility daily. Also during the summer months, the Boys & Girls Club does its own 10-week Good Choices Program. Kids in the program study How to Make Good Choices based on The Way to Happiness, see videos on the various chapters and work out how to make their own good choices in life. The teens from the B&G Teen Center are helping to deliver the Good Choices Program to the younger youth. This past year marked a huge expansion of the SB B&G Club with the re-entry of Football to the Club—140 youth signed up and are participating in the overall league which spans Santa Barbara, Ventura, Kern and LA Counties! The Coach won the Staff Leadership Award which was given to him by an excited group of ever so competent kids from 6 to 18 years of age, plus some 8 Volunteer Coaches! Hat’s off from all of us at Happy House to Carolyn Brown, the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Boys & Girls Club, along with Calvin Mass, Program and Operations Director, Tyler Forshey, Teen Coordinator and ALL of their stellar staff—each and every one Men and Women of tremendous Good Will—for an amazing year and cheers to an even more expansive 2015!
Happy House Meets World Peace One
In early November Happy House founder, Nancy Cartwright and some of her staff were thrilled to meet and exchange views with members of the executive committee of World Peace One (WP1). This is an organization whose mission “is to organize, produce and broadcast a series of fundraising concerts and annual Global SuperConcerts, whose purpose is to generate resources that will sustain the WP1 Foundation’s ten-year global peace initiative.” One members of this committee is none other than Claes Nobel, a senior member of the Nobel Family, Claes Nobel is a native of Sweden and the great grand-nephew of industrialist Dr. Alfred Nobel, creator of the famed Nobel Prize. A World Peace One concert series in partnership with California State University Northridge, Valley Performing Arts Center, Northridge, California starts later this year.
San Jose Kids Win Video Awards
On Saturday, October 12, 2014, kids at the Community United Centers in San Jose, California won trophies for short films at the San Jose International Short Film Festival! The short film winner Star World was created by youth at Starbird and Be Me was created by youth at Alma. Thanks to our digital media studio and the talented kids using it! You can watch the videos right here! Star World Be Me
Nancy’s Friend Patrick Renna Helps West Valley Police
Actor Patrick Renna appeared at the West Valley National Night Out in the park, where LAPD officers hosted the community for a showing of the evergreen, ever popular film, SANDLOT! Pat spoke, signed autographs and everyone had a terrific time!
Family Fun and Poker: Year 9
May 17th saw the 9th edition of our yearly Texas Hold ‘Em and Family Party and BBQ. And, it was the best ever! We had a record number of guests and raised nearly double the contributions of our previous highest ever year! (more…)
Good Choices in the Park
On Saturday, June 21, 2014, the intrepid Happy House crew arrived at Valley Plaza Park in North Hollywood to celebrate another Salute to Kids. Presented by the LA Department of Parks and Recreation and the San Fernando Vally Coalition on Gangs, the event saw hundreds of families from the local area enjoying time in the park. (more…)
The Seattle Good Choices Kids’ Club at the 6th Annual Kent International Festival
Kent International Festival (KIF) is an amazing event dedicated to the celebration of heritage through diverse cultural cuisine, entertainment and exuberance. ‘Learn from Each Other’ is the motto we embrace in every aspect and activity to exhibit to those who live, work or worship in our area the value we place on celebrating diversity. (more…)
Seattle Kids Learn “Take Care of Yourself!”
Happy House’s Seattle Good Choices Kids Club had a fun and invigorating visit in February from a professional on Precept #1 – Take Care of Yourself!! (more…)
Happy House’s Seattle Chapter Gets Ready for Earth Day
Megan and her troops in Happy House’s Seattle Kids Good Choices Club are participating big time with the Earth Corps on Earth Day weekend. (more…)