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Fandango Combines Its Annual Holiday Event with a Party for Children of Hillsides

12-19-2013 06:52 PM CET | Associations & Organizations

Press release from: Hillsides

A set of hot pink fuzzy dice. A green sticky hand. Or a mini squishable basketball.
These were the choices a 10-year-old resident of Hillsides was mulling over at the prize counter at Jillian’s, a restaurant and arcade, in Universal Studios City Walk. She’d just hit the jackpot of 350 tickets on an arcade game, and was narrowing down her final prize picks. After much deliberation, the basketball won out. The girl eagerly grabbed her bag of prizes and skipped away to win more tickets.
When asked if she was having fun, her ear-to-ear grin said it all.
On December 5, the 64 children residing at Hillsides Residential Treatment Services program were treated to an evening of non-stop fun when Fandango, the nation’s leading moviegoer destination, hosted a party for the children at Jillian’s. The children played arcade games to their hearts’ content, competed in skeeball, shot pool, bowled, and nibbled on all the pizza and other finger foods they could eat.
Making the event even more extraordinary was the fact that it doubled as Fandango’s annual employee holiday party. Foregoing a high-end event, the company decided to use the employee party as an opportunity for employees to give back to the children of Hillsides.
“This year we wanted to do something that wove in social responsibility and would have a local impact,” said Michael Bravo, director of human resources for Fandango who helped come up with the idea and helped coordinate the party. Some 100 Fandango employees attended the party, playing games with the children, bowling with them, and facing off against them in air hockey.
“This is an incredible example of how one company came up with an innovative idea to combine its year-end party with doing something good in the community,” said Joseph M. Costa, Hillsides chief executive officer. “Winter outings are so important for the children who live at Hillsides. The holidays can be difficult because the children miss being with their families. But fun outings like this surrounded by caring adults can really offer our children the joy and comfort of the holidays.”
At the end of the evening, Fandango presented each child with a gift bag filled with such goodies as glow-in-the-dark sunglasses, a holiday dog tag, a holiday rubber duck, a candy bar, popcorn, and a Fandango promo card that is worth a certain amount of movie tickets. After the event, Fandango also dropped off a DVD player for each child and a large selection of DVDs.
The holiday party was a huge success for the children of Hillsides, many of whom had never been to an arcade before. It was also a success for the employees of Fandango. “I don’t think the employees realized how touched they’d feel in terms of an emotional response to the children,” said Bravo. “They were also impressed with how dynamic, smart, nice and well-behaved the children were. The party left us all with an overwhelming sense of happiness.”
Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of children, youth, and families in crisis. It is not too late to donate to the children and families of Hillsides for the holidays or sponsor a winter outing. To learn more about holiday giving, please contact Laura Kelso, director of community resources, at 323-254-2274, ext. 251 or lkelso@hillsides.org.

Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and their families. Our vision is to create lasting change in the lives of at-risk children and youth we serve. We provide high quality care, advocacy, and innovative services that promote safe, permanent environments where young people can thrive.

Hillsides has four main programs:
Family Resource Centers, which offer numerous community based programs and services that provide parenting classes, mental health support and additional crucial resources for vulnerable children and families throughout Los Angeles County.
Residential Treatment Services, which provide a safe and stable environment where children and youths, who cannot live at home, suffered trauma, or have severe emotional or behavioral challenges, can thrive.
Education Center, a therapeutic residential and day school that offers individualized education for students with social-emotional, learning and/or behavioral challenges for children in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Youth Moving On, which provides former foster youth affordable quality housing and numerous support services to help them become responsible, self-sufficient adults.

Hillsides
940 Avenue 64
Pasadena, CA 91105
323-254-2274
Company Contact/Press Contact:
Marisol Barrios
mbarrios@hillsides.org
323-543-2800 ext 128
815 Colorado Blvd, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90041

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