My name is Emily Viola, the Circle of Friends President for the 2015-2016 year. I first got involved with the Circle in 2010 when I was teaching 2nd Grade in San Gabriel. Even though I did not have kids at the time, I joined the Circle because I wanted an opportunity to be involved in the community. I knew my husband and I would start a family soon and being involved in Kidspace was a perfect fit given my teaching background.
Fast forward five years, I now have one son who is 3 and another baby on the way. Over the years, Kidspace has become even bigger and more important to us as a family. Through our family’s experience in the Circle, my son has become connected, excited and awed by Kidspace more than I could have ever imagined.
But more importantly, the focus of this amazing group of women who I am honored to lead this year is the partnership between the Circle and Kidspace. The Circle of Friends is a volunteer organization committed to supporting Kidspace Children’s Museum through volunteer hours and the fundraising efforts of its members. The group started in 1991, and its purpose is exclusively charitable.
This year's Circle board - Vice President Tricia Nur, Treasurer Hanna Lim, Secretary Brooke Yohalem, Nominating Chair Nicole Anido, Membership Administration Co-Chairs Ashleigh Koss and Majella Lue Sue, Membership Events Co-Chairs Becky Walley and Kathryn Olaiz, Public Relations Chair Melissa Wu, Pumpkin Festival Co-Chairs Jennifer Kennedy and Catherine Sanders, Benefit Co-Chairs Dimple Bhasin and Stephanie Sepulveda, and Founder’s President Emilie Lanstra - and I have planned a great year!
We are excited to welcome 30 new women to our organization this year so that our group now includes 120 active members. All of us are working hard to bring exciting events to the community and help Kidspace grow. From our 21st Pumpkin Festival on October 17th - 18th to our 37th Benefit gala on February 6th, we hope that you'll join us in experiencing all the wonderful things Kidspace Children's Museum has to offer.
I am very excited about the year to come and look forward to seeing you at a future event.