By Amanda Baughman
Special to The Outlook
La Cañada Presbyterian Church Parent Education will host its annual benefit gala, “Loving Mercy Restoring Lives,” on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale. The event will help finance operations of Parent Ed, which will partner with local advocacy organization FosterAll to raise funds to secure homes for foster children in Los Angeles. L.A. County has more than 30,000 foster children in need of homes — the largest foster-care crisis in the nation.
The gala will be emceed by John Cervenka, Chris Erskine and Chuck Osburn. A ticket purchase of $100 will include a dinner and complimentary drink, and the event will feature a cash bar and live auction. Tickets can be purchased at bit.ly/2020PEtickets, where donations also can be made to Parent Ed and the Cathy and Christopher Compassion Memorial. An online auction will run from Friday, Feb. 14-Sunday, March 1 at bit.ly/2020PEauction. To donate items, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parent Ed has expressed special thanks to this year’s underwriters: Diamond sponsors Brad and Ashley Barrett and John and Melissa Schiller; Platinum sponsors Gordon and Dona Crawford, James and Maggie Mason, and Brad and Lisa Freer; Silver sponsors Michael and Debbie Barsom and Ted and Betsy Merchant; Bronze sponsors Annie Brose, John and Katie Enney, the Dennis and Carrie DeYoung Foundation, Carrie B. Grochow-Dilbeck Real Estate, Ben and Cristina Kelly-Compass Real Estate, Steve and Christy McCormick, Skeehan and Young CPA, and the Weightman Giving Fund.
Parent Ed Director Anne Sorensen Bierling will receive the 2020 Shining Star award, given annually to a person who has had a significant impact on the community, especially its families and children. Bierling will be honored for her 30 years of service and dedication to families in Los Angeles.
She came to L.A. in 1989 to work at Los Angeles Lutheran High School and served as a guidance counselor, AP English teacher and, eventually, assistant principal until 1996. Bierling said it was there that she gained a deep and lasting love for the students and families she served, and she remains close to many of them.
Bierling joined Shepherd’s House Counseling Center in Van Nuys in 1996 and became a licensed marriage and family therapist. She and colleagues wrote “The Life Model” (1999), now translated into 11 languages. One of its major components is “the maturity map,” on which Bierling speaks frequently, including last year at the L.A. Conference for Women Who Influence and Transform 2019 in Denver.
Since 2007, Bierling has served as director of Parent Ed, which offers 22 classes for parents of children age 18 and younger.
“I have known Anne since she became the director. Working with her and learning from her, I have grown immensely as a parent, a Christian and a woman,” said Katrina Harbers, Parent Ed participant and LCPC member. “She is one of the strongest, smartest and most inspirational people I have ever known.”
To learn more about LCPC Parent Education, visit lacanadapc.org/parented. To learn more about the work of FosterAll, visit fosterall.org.