Thursday, December 17, 2009

Elizabeth House in Pasadena gearing up for March gala

Over the past 15 years, Elizabeth House – the only shelter for homeless pregnant women and their children in the San Gabriel Valley – has been a place of refuge, hope, guidance and support for 218 women and 322 children. But, this year, the shelter hopes to take on a new challenge – opening a second house, which will be devoted to providing temporary affordable housing for Elizabeth House’s ‘alumni’ as they transition back into society. On March 20, the shelter will hold a gala – “Where Love Embraces Life” – to raise funding to help make this dream a reality.

“We are so excited at this new venture, and we believe that after 15 years the timing is right,” says Debbie Unruh, Executive Director. “This economic crisis has made it more and more challenging for our women to find and afford housing. And, from the beginning, we’ve been committed to providing ongoing support to our clients. In fact, our Alumni Services Program has become a very large and critical part of our outreach to mothers and their children. It truly is what makes this program so successful.”

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt – heard locally on KRLA 870 AM – will appear as guest speaker at the gala.

“Hugh has made appearances on such programs as The Dennis Miller Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Larry King Live and The Today Show, “ says Gala co-chair Mary Sue Scheidler, who is chairing the event with Maritza Smith and Rosalie Halverson. “So obviously we’re thrilled that he agreed to join us. I look forward to hearing his thoughts on how ‘love can embrace life’ and know that many of our supporters are as excited as I am.”

A graduate of a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School who has been teaching Constitutional Law at Chapman University Law School since it opened in 1995, Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show – “The Hugh Hewitt Show” – is heard in more than 120 cities every weekday afternoon and has an audience estimated at more than 2 million listeners weekly. He frequently interviews government officials from both parties as well as a wide range of respected analysts, authors and pundits. The host is also a frequent guest on CNN, Fox News Network, and MSNBC. While serving as host of Life & Times, a nightly news and public affairs program that aired on the Los Angeles PBS affiliate, KCET, from 1992 to 2007, he received three Emmys.

Today, Hewitt writes daily for his blog,, which is among the most visited political blogs in the United States, is Executive Editor of, and has published articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. He is also the author of eight books, including two New York Times bestsellers.

“But what many people don’t know is that Hugh has served as a member of the Orange County Children and Families Commission,” says Unruh. “He’s a wonderful role model for the rest of us on how love can embrace life.”

For more information about this year’s benefit, which will take place at the University Club in Pasadena, call (626) 577-4434‎ or visit

The mission of Elizabeth House is to provide shelter and family-focused support to homeless pregnant women and their children through a comprehensive program that addresses the physical, emotional, spiritual, and economic needs of women and children in a nurturing atmosphere. Visit or call 626.577.4434 to learn more about Elizabeth House, its programs, upcoming events and opportunities to become involved.

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