Santa Rosa, CA – July 10, 2019 – Santa
Rosa, CA -- To help current and
former Sonoma County foster youth achieve their academic potential and build
better futures,The Valley of the Moon
Children’s Foundation will award its annual college and trade school
scholarships on Monday, July 29,at a lunch at the Wild Oak Saddle Club,
Santa Rosa. The private, all-volunteer non-profit raised more than $150,000
this year to support the educational dreams of 48 youth and young
adults who once faced abuse, neglect or abandonment at home.
have seen former foster youth graduate from trade schools, junior college,
four-year universities and beyond,” says the Foundation’s President of the
Board of Directors Laura Colgate. “It shows that if you invest in a young
person’s future, the value returned is priceless.” Over 13 years, the
Foundation has awarded 260 scholarships of $1500 to $10,000 totaling $894,500.
generous community donations to the scholarship program allow foster youth to
achieve in their educational goals and become happier and healthier
adults," says Family Youth and Children’s Services Division Director Nick
Honey, who leads the County
of Sonoma foster care and child protection programs.
former foster youth will use her 2019 grant to launch her Ph.D. work in August
at Arizona State University in Justice Studies. Miriam
Araya was brought into foster care at age 13 after experiencing physical and
other abuse. She spent time with her four sisters and brothers at the County’s
emergency shelter for foster youth, the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home.
volunteer officers of the Foundation’s Board of Directors are President Laura
Colgate; Vice President Kevin Destruel, owner of Mead Clark Lumber; Secretary
Patricia Bradley and Treasurer David P. Dillwood, CPA, Dillwood, Burkel &
Millar LLP. They guide the Foundation’s efforts to prevent child abuse in
Sonoma County and to support the healing and educational programs at Valley of
the Moon Children’s Home, help emancipated foster youth through education,
housing and employment guidance and improve the lives of current foster
children and community foster parents.
of the Foundation’s vital early projects in partnership with the Sonoma County
Board of Supervisors and the Sonoma County Human Services Department was to raise
more than $11 million to build the region’s only 24-hour emergency shelter for
foster children, the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home (VMCH). Children
moved into the housing portion of the Kenwood facility in 2005.
with the scholarship programs, the Foundation has supported the creation of
additional buildings and outdoor play and learning spaces at VMCH. In 2011, the
Foundation helped fund the opening of the on-site, VMCH Dental Health
Program. Research showed the high number of children who enter foster care
with undiagnosed and under-treated acute dental issues. The program is
projected to serve its 1000th child this year.
Foundation also continues to help VMCH develop as a therapeutic and educational
program for foster children coping with the trauma of abuse and neglect. Its
members and donors help fund on-site music and garden programs led by staff and
community volunteers. The Foundation also recruits community volunteers to help
children at VMCH with homework, recreation, exercise and art activities.
members can find out how to make a tax-deductible donation to support Sonoma
County foster children by visiting vomcf.org or
to volunteer at VMCH by calling (707)