Circle of Friends
The Circle of Friends is a philanthropic group of more than 100 women from Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, La Cañada and surrounding areas who are dedicated to supporting, with funds and volunteer hours, the operations of Kidspace Children’s Museum. There are also more than 100 Founders Circle members, women who were active in the group for five years and continue to support the Museum on a more limited basis.
What started in 1991 as a small group of active community volunteers with a mission of creating an environment for children to receive enhanced access to the arts, humanities and sciences led to today’s Circle of Friends. Today, the Circle of Friends remains a volunteer organization whose sole mission is to raise funds for Kidspace. Since the beginning, its purpose has been exclusively charitable. The Circle of Friends does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion or national origin.
The Circle of Friends is now in its 23rd year and currently under the leadership of Circle President Laura Thompson.
What We Do
Check presentation to Kidspace Children's Museum. 2012-2013 Emilie Lanstra, Circle of Friends President, presenting $260,000 to Michael Shanklin, Kidspace CEO (left), and Kris Popovich, Kidspace Board President (right).
The Circle of Friends raises approximately $300,000 every year for Kidspace Children's Museum through two annual events organized by the Circle, the Pumpkin Festival in the fall, and a benefit dinner and auction in the winter.
The annual Pumpkin Festival is held every October in Pasadena’s Brookside Park. Families from all over the Los Angeles area are invited to enjoy a safe, family-friendly carnival including bouncers, games, a pumpkin patch and free entertainment. What started as a small event in 1994 to give kids a safe alternative to trick-or-treating has grown into a not-to-be-missed, two-day festival attended by 20,000 people.
The annual invitation-only benefit is an evening of fun with proceeds going towards Kidspace Children’s Museum. It features a silent auction during cocktail hour, dining, dancing and live auction with exclusive items, all while decked out in themed costumes. Held the first Saturday in February, it’s an event not to be missed!