ANGIE’S ANGELS FOUNDATION
Children have always held a very special place in my heart. They have that innocent sense of wonder and are always full of energy. I started doing volunteer work with a local charity in 2010, after losing my father to lymphoma, and losing my grandmother to lung cancer. I saw firsthand what families go through when a close relative is fighting cancer. During the time that I volunteered, I met so many children with leukemia, bone cancer, brain cancer, and other types of cancers or diseases. It amazed me that despite everything they were going through, the painful chemo treatments, not being able to play with their friends, not being able to go to school, they still had the best attitude. They still studied, and sometimes even kept up with other lessons, music, gymnastics, singing, etc., as much as their health allowed. As I spent more and more time with these amazing Fighters, I always wanted to do things that would make them happy, or do something in some way that would cheer them up.
I noticed that some families had to choose between working and taking care of their sick child. One parent usually had to make the decision to stop working and stay home. Obviously, that meant less money was being brought in to the household. It is very difficult when your child needs recurring treatment and doctor visits. It is difficult emotionally, as well as financially. I immediately wanted to raise money, so that I could help these families during a very difficult time in their lives. I decided to start my own nonprofit that could help all families with that had children fighting cancer, all different types of cancers, or syndromes, or any other kind of diseases. Being sick is never fun, and if I could help somehow, some way, I wanted to do it.
About two years ago, I started my own nonprofit called Angie’s Angels Foundation. With the help of a fantastic Board of Directors, some very dear friends, and some wonderful sponsors, we have been able to raise funds through special fundraisers and personal donations to provide support for our families.
I remember watching a New York fashion show one day on TV. I remember thinking how these models walked the runway with such confidence, strength, and pride. I thought to myself how I always saw those same characteristics in the Little Warriors I had grown to love. I can also say the same about the adult Fighters and Survivors I have met. There’s a saying that goes “You never know how strong you are until STRONG is the only choice you have.” I suddenly thought how I would love to see all these Little Warriors and Adult Fighters walk the runway expressing their confidence, strength and pride.
I decided that would be our main fundraiser. With the help of my Board of Directors, my dear friends, and wonderful supporters and sponsors, we now continue to have an annual “Models of Courage” Fashion Show fundraiser. All of our models are Survivors, Fighters, have a Special Disability or Syndrome, adults and children, men and women, boys and girls. Nobody gets left out. We have been honored to have John Quinones of “What Would You Do?” fame, as our Emcee for two years in a row. He volunteers his services for us, and we are very grateful to him. It is amazing to watch these very special Models walk the runway, while the entire audience is cheering and clapping for them. They look fantastic, and they feel fantastic! It is a celebration of their life, and we are all cheering for them.
It is no easy feat to put together a huge show such as this, however, it is a great thing to have so much community support, as well as dear friends, that lend a hand and help so that it will all come together for a wonderful night. We also provide an annual Christmas dinner for the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic at Bexar Army Medical Center. We take Santa Claus to visit them, and then all the patients, as well as outpatients, along with their siblings, receive a present directly from Santa. We provide a nice Christmas dinner for the families, the patients, the hospital staff, and all the children get to visit with Santa Claus.
As we have had to cancel and reschedule our Annual Models of Courage Fashion Show this year because of this horrible pandemic, I am happy that we have been able to financially help our families during this trying time. I look forward to the time when we will all be able to come together again to watch our amazing Heroes walk the runway. Until then, we will continue to provide as much help and financial assistance as possible to our very strong families. I thank my awesome Board of Directors, Erika Carey, Raul Machuca, Noemi Gonzales, J.D. McVay, and Judge Peter Sakai for their unending support, and I especially thank God for opening doors and guiding the way, so that we may help as many families as we can, emotionally and financially. We look forward to doing more in the coming years to help our very special families. Please follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/angiesangelsfoundation, or our website at www.angiesangels.care.
Please stay tuned for our next Models of Courage Fashion Show scheduled for
September 18, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas!
Judge Peter Sakai
225th District Court, Bexar County