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Optimist Youth Homes Celebrates 3rd Annual Walk-4-Youth Walkathon in Highland Park

The May 18 event draws supports from throughout Los Angeles.

Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services welcomes the community to its third annual Walk-4-Youth Walkathon starting at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 18. Registration and continental breakfast is set for 8:00-9:15 a.m. 

The event has evolved into one of the organization’s most important and enjoyable fundraisers. Last year, almost 200 walkers completed the 5K circuit, helping raise a total of $25,000. The route starts at the Optimist campus, hits the halfway point at the Yosemite Recreation Center and then returns to Optimist’s campus. 

Participants, including Optimist staffers, students, families and supporters, will enjoy music-making and dance activities all morning long with We Are the Movement, a nonprofit organization that uses dance, music, and art to promote positive self-expression and build self-confidence among at-risk young people. And starting at 11:00 a.m., they can also tour the Optimist facilities, including the charter school, the gym and the student garden.  

“The Walkathon is a chance for our friends and supporters in the community to spend a day having fun and helping us at the same time,” said Silvio John Orlando, executive director at Optimist Youth Homes. “We’re very pleased with how popular this event has become.”  

Walkathon sponsors include the Osbrink Agency, Landegger Baron Law Group, Pro-Line Inspections, City National Bank, Arthur J. Gallagher and Co., the Wexler family, Monterey Hills Dental, Troy’s Burgers #8, Kaye Capital Management, Orbach, Huff, Suarez & Henderson LLP, and Food Solutions, Inc.  

Founded in 1906 in the Highland Park neighborhood in Los Angeles, Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services provides culturally sensitive, comprehensive treatment, specialized education and support services to abused, neglected or at-risk children, youth and their families, to establish stability within families and communities.

The agency has evolved into one of Southern California’s most progressive centers of its type, providing vital residential and community-based care to this at-risk population.  The agency’s main Highland Park campus houses 97 teenage boys, a non-public school for students with special needs and a state-approved charter high school. There are also four group homes in Los Angeles County that house and provide services to 24 at-risk youth, both boys and girls.  

Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services is also a fully licensed foster care and adoption agency, with a main facility in Palmdale and offices in Highland Park. Social workers screen and train foster parents to match them with needy children. They also provide full adoption services when foster parents decide to become a forever family for the children in their care.  

Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services also provides, through its community mental health clinics, a wide range of mental health services to residents of Southern California. 

—Optimist Youth Homes and Family Service

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