By Lea Michelle Cash
According to the statistics reported by the National Foster Parent Association there are 513,000 American children in foster care. To raise money every year for the Rowell Foster Children's Positive Plan (RFCPP), the organization that she founded, Victoria Rowell, a versatile actress and best selling author, child advocate and spokesperson for foster care, holds a very special afternoon event.
Victoria Rowell with Congresswoman Maxine Waters and fans.
This event reflects Hollywood and all of its glitter with some of Hollywood's hottest film and television stars stepping out wearing fashionable hats to celebrate motherhood and to support the efforts of RFCPP. This year the special event was held at the world renown Beverly Hills Hotel and the ballroom was filled to capacity with celebrities such as Anthony Anderson, Taraji Henson, Holly Robinson-Peete, and Dennis Haysbert. Cookie Johnson, wife of Magic Johnson and Pauletta Washington, wife of Denzel Washington, were also present along with a host of politicians.
NBC4 co-anchor and general assignment reporter, Chris Schauble was Master of Ceremonies. Oscar nominated actress, Angela Basset received the 1st annual Agatha Award (named after Rowell's foster mother). A live action featuring a painting by famed-collagist, Phoebe Beasley and a pearl necklace by Tiffany were a few of the items that raised thousands of dollars.
Angela Bassett is very happy holding her Agatha Award for her support of children in Foster Care system
Entertainment was provided by Comedian Jonathan Slocumb and the awarding winning singer, Patti Austin. Entertainment also featured that afternoon was by Johnell Holbert, an African American musical genius who RFCPP helped develop his talents. He recently graduated from Dominican University in San Rafael, California with a Bachelor's in Music with an emphasis in Classical music. He is planning to pursue a master's degree in the near future. Tap dancing talent was provided by Ar Vejon Jones, Dar Vejon Jones and Jakita Robertson who are currently members of the Kennedy Tap Company. All three have been assisted by Rowell's program since its inception in 1990 and have benefited tremendously towards increased self-esteem, increased school participation, increased interest in the arts, and having a better outlook on life as children in the foster care system. All three African American teens are exceptional high school students and active members of Fox Studios Journey to Excellence Program. Dar Vejon Jones is scheduled to attend San Francisco State University and he excels in Japanese, Environmental Science and Pre-Calculus. He said, "I am very thankful for the RFCPP organization because of the things they have allowed me to do."
May is National Foster Care Month, a time to raise the public's awareness of the need for more people to make a difference in the lives of children and youth living in foster care in the United States. Rowell was a child who grew up in the foster care system, from the time she was born until the age of 18. She has written a book titled, "The Women Who Raised Me" in honor of her foster mothers and it has become a national best seller. The RFCPP is an organization that provides structure, support and encouragement for foster youth through a variety of enrichment programs.