William Shatner & Wells Fargo Present Checks to Charities

Jonathan Weedman (Wells Fargo), William Shatner, Sheldon Epps (Pasadena Playhouse) and David DiCristofaro (Wells Fargo)

Not only is William Shatner, one of America’s most versatile television stars, he is the CEO of the Hollywood Charity Horse Show and generous philanthropist. Shatner along with David DiCristofaro, Wells Fargo LA Metro/Orange County Regional Bank President, and Jonathan Weedman, Senior Vice President Wells Fargo Foundation recently invited 25 charities to a gifting ceremony and breakfast to distribute grants to the charities supported by Shatner’s annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show sponsored by Wells Fargo and Priceline.com.

The Hollywood Charity Horse Show is in its 26th year. “Over the last 26 years, we have been able to help thousands of young Angelinos thanks to the support we receive from our generous sponsors and attendees,” commented William Shatner. “We are so happy to award the funds raised to these special-needs organizations.”

Here are 20 organizations that received checks from the actor and Wells Fargo Executives –

A Place Called Home - Photo by Jill Weinlein
A Place Called Home – Photo by Jill Weinlein
  1. A Place Called Home – At A Place Called Home, caring staff, supporters and volunteers come together to provide South Central children and teens 8 years old – 21 years old with love, safety, enrichment, training, and opportunities through educational programs, counseling, and mentorship.


2. AHEAD With Horses –  (Accelerated Habilitation Education And Development)  has an over 47-year history of providing unique, highly motivating and effective therapy, education and recreation through horses and related experiences to disabled/disadvantaged/at-risk/special-needs children and has earned recognition educationally, medically and scientifically.

American Legion - Photo by Jill Weinlein
American Legion – Photo by Jill Weinlein

3. American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund – The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.


4. Blind Children’s Center -Fosters the development and education of children – birth through 2nd grade – who are visually impaired in an inclusive – family focused setting.

5. Caterina’s Club – Caterina’s Club serves over 1,800 low-income children a nutritionally balanced meal of freshly made pasta and vegetables 5 nights a week all year-long. Over 1 Million meals have been served and rapidly counting. Chef Bruno helps feed homeless families in Anaheim (Motel Kids). Caterina’s Club assists families in need, relocating them from motels to homes. To date, 89 families have been housed.

CHLA - Photo by Jill Weinlein
CHLA – Photo by Jill Weinlein

6. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – (CHLA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution that provides pediatric health care to more than 107,000 children each year in a setting designed just for their needs. It started in 1901 in a small house on the corner of Alpine and Castelar Streets (now Hill St. in Chinatown) and now is home to medical experts who have developed more than 350 pediatric specialty programs and services to meet the needs of our patients. CHLA is a provider of more than $125 million in community benefits annually to children and families. As the first and largest pediatric hospital in Southern California, CHLA relies on the generosity of philanthropists in the community to support compassionate patient care, leading-edge education of the caregivers of tomorrow and innovative research efforts that impact children at our hospital and around the world.

The Colburn School - Photo by Jill Weinlein
The Colburn School – Photo by Jill Weinlein

7. The Colburn School – Founded in 1950 as the Community School for the Arts — a small music preparatory school for the University of Southern California. The school provides the highest quality performing arts education at all levels of development in an optimal learning environment. The school serves the community by presenting its students, faculty, and guest artists in more than 300 concerts each year, many of which are free. Additionally, Colburn’s outreach programs reach approximately 15,000 underserved children in the community each year.

CRE Outreach - Photo by Jill Weinlein
CRE Outreach – Photo by Jill Weinlein

 8. CRE Outreach – Empowers under-served individuals from low-income populations in the greater Los Angeles area through theatre, the performing arts, and educational programs. CRE Outreach actively engages at-risk youth, the visually impaired and military veterans participants helping them overcome the challenges in their lives and successfully navigate through today’s society. Over 1500 individuals from many diverse segments of the greater Los Angeles community participate in theatre-based arts education programs. Partnering with local service agencies such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Lake Street Community Center in Downtown Los Angeles, the Braille Institute of Los Angeles, and the Junior Blind of America, they provide opportunities for participants to safely explore the endless possibilities of theatre while promoting social skills, independence and confidence that can translate into an increased quality of life.

Dream Catchers of LA - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Dream Catchers of LA – Joan Blank -Photo by Jill Weinlein

9. Dream Catcher of LA – Is a Therapeutic Riding Center’s is a Certified Center Member of PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) offering Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. The center improves the lives of children, adults, and veterans with cognitive, physical, and emotional disabilities through the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities, while serving the therapeutic riding profession through training and education. Learning a riding skill will also have a positive effect on a rider’s self-confidence. The center environment, the companionship and bonding with animals, and the development of new skills are all components in a successful experience. The relationships that develop between riders, volunteers, horses and staff are all integral to a positive emotional experience.

ELSA - Experience Learning Support with Animals
ELSA – Experience Learning Support with Animals

10. ELSA – Experience Learning Support with Animals – nonprofit organization serves children, teens, young adults, families, and groups with special needs through the benefits of human-animal interaction in the ranch setting with horses and ranch animals. Since launching in 2010, ELSA has connected over 1,400 individuals, including those diagnosed with autism and other special needs, with rescued horses and ranch animals to build confidence, social skills, and sensory awareness.

Friendly House - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Friendly House – Photo by Jill Weinlein

11. Friendly House – Founded in 1951, The Peggy Albrecht Friendly House LA is the oldest women’s recovery home in the US, providing a safe harbor for women suffering from the destruction of alcoholism and drug abuse, and has earned a world-renowned reputation as the model for successful recovery.

DSC_034412. Friends & Helpers – Started in 1992  provide to offer support and encouragement for domestic abuse victims who have fled to a shelter or group home for safety. All receive counseling, job training, financial planning and life skills.. Abuse can strike anyone anywhere; spouses, parents, children and teens can fall victim to abuse. They offer a Back-To-School program to help underprivileged kids, and an Easter program.


13. Hollenbeck Police Activities League – Builds a bond between cops and kids. Hollenbeck PAL was founded in 1992 through the efforts of Hollenbeck Division of the Los Angeles Police Department and community residents to implement sports activities to high-risk youths in response to the juvenile crime increase in the area. The ultimate goal is a community without crime, where children have equal access to opportunity, and where peace officers help drive the community’s vitality. PAL’s mission is to nurture young people to become responsible, productive, and law-abiding citizens by offering character-building, educational, sports, and life-enhancing programs.

Horses4Heroes, Inc. - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Horses4Heroes, Inc. – Photo by Jill Weinlein

14. Horses4Heros – Helps children with parents that are deployed in the military. Horses fill the hole in the child’s heart with a parent missing in their life. A Las Vegas-based, national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth, adults and families and enriching their lives through deeply discounted recreational, instructional and morale-boosting health & wellness programs that emphasize fun and safe activities with horses. Through programs like Operation Free Ride, they give thousands of free horseback rides for all active duty service members, Veterans, caregivers, survivors, First Responders and their families. They serve at-risk youth, foster children and teens, victims of domestic abuse and violence, Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress and others in our communities who need a hand up, not a hand out.

Inner-City Youth Orchestra of LA - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Inner-City Youth Orchestra of LA – Charles Dickerson III, Director -Photo by Jill Weinlein

15. Inner-City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles – To cultivate musical expression for personal development, and to bring musical and academic potential of young inner city residents of Los Angeles. Provide opportunities for young musicians to perform that music in some of the greatest settings of the world, and prepare them for opportunities to play in major American orchestras. Give minority youth, especially African-American and Latino youth, the tools needed to join major American orchestras; and to present those young people to those orchestras as candidates for employment. The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles has performed at Walt Disney concert hall; NAACP Man of Valor Awards Luncheon; the Howard University Alumni Gala Dinner; the Victoria Rowell Foster Children’s Plan Celebration; the LA Times Festival of Books at USC; the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication luncheon in Washington, D.C.; a Barack Obama presidential fundraiser attended by First Lady Michelle Obama; and at a number of receptions, holiday concerts, churches and universities.

Painted Turtle Gang Camp Foundation
Painted Turtle Gang Camp Foundation

16. Painted Turtle Gang Camp Foundation – There is no billing department – children with serious medical conditions and their families attend camp free of charge. Through innovative, camp-based programs that offer a great big dose of fun and support, children with more than 30 medical conditions visit The Painted Turtle each year, reclaiming the joys of childhood. A member of Paul Newman’s renowned Serious-Fun Camps (formerly the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps), The Painted Turtle has offered thousands of children and their families hope and encouragement through its Summer and Family Weekend camps since it opened its gates in 2004.

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Sheldon Epps - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Sheldon Epps – Photo by Jill Weinlein

17. Pasadena Playhouse – The Pasadena Playhouse is committed to premiere theatrical experience in Southern California showcasing the most exciting theatrical entertainment in the state and being an amazing forum for launching new work onto the national stage. The Pasadena Playhouse hosts over 3000 young people (primarily 18 and under). Theatre has the power to transform lives and create new possibilities for those engaged with it.

REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program - Photo by Jill Weinlein
REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program – Photo by Jill Weinlein

18. REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program – Provides physical, mental, and emotional therapy to a wide range of disabled children and adults through the use of carefully supervised horseback riding. The benefits of this therapy are both mental and physical and include normalization of muscle tone, increased balance & coordination, developments of speech & language, and improvements in body awareness & self-esteem.

19. Saddles for Soldiers – Designed specifically by Shadow Hills Riding Club to assist United States Veterans and their families cope with the traumas and stressors returning from combat, long-term depression, re-establishing life skills and readjustment into civilian life by the use of horses.

Charles Robbins, MBA, CFRE – Vice President, Communications & Development
Charles Robbins, MBA, CFRE – Vice President, Communications Development – Village Family Service – Photo by Jill Weinlein

20. Village Family Services – Protects children from abuse, preserve families and build a stronger, safer community for all. The Village Family Services is one of Southern California’s leading bilingual community-based organizations providing a comprehensive range of services to achieve permanency and safety for neglected and abused children and youth. The client-centered, strength-focused, trauma-informed, evidence-based and culturally competent care is delivered by a compassionate, bilingual staff.

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