After a time away, the Children First organization returned to Sharky's on the Pier in Venice for its Flip Flops & Fashion fundraiser on Nov. 3.
Supporters gathered under a tent on the beach alongside Sharky's for a fun event that started with mingling and shopping before lunch. President and CEO Philip Tavill and VP of Philanthropy Jessica Rogers lauded the group's progress during the pandemic before sponsors Matt and Krystel Beall announced the many models for the event's fashion show.
Men, women and children donned tropical and beachy looks and walked the fashion runway that went throughout the tent area.
There was also a special surprise for two Children First employees. Rogers presented bouquets of flowers as tokens of gratitude to Samantha Kingsley and Megan Wenger, who have respectively spent 11 and seven years with the nonprofit. The pair will soon be departing for new positions, but were shocked and overjoyed to be given farewell gifts.
"We were completed caught off guard," Wenger said. "It was a big surprise but very meaningful."
"We've formed a family with this organization in the time we've been here," Kingsley said."It was nice to be recognized."