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Happy Holidays......Thank You's and Yearly Recap

Dear friends, family members, supporters, and donors of the Be Perfect Foundation,

As we approach such a giving and thankful time of year, I felt it would be appropriate to personally thank all of you for your 2014 contributions to the Be Perfect Foundation. It has been an incredible year for the foundation to say the least--due mostly to your continued support and generosity.

With a multitude of events throughout the year, we have been able to touch more lives, educate more people, and establish a stronger sense of camaraderie, reminding our Be Perfect family how good it feels to give back and help others. It started at the beginning of the year when Kessler Alair held their beginning of the year luncheon to not only recap the previous year, but also to state and show their plans for the 2014 year ahead. They presented the foundation with a check from their 2013 fundraising efforts and detailed their plans to become a more integral part of the foundation's fundraising and awareness efforts in 2014.  They followed through on their 2014 commitment!  Many of you went to Farmer Boys just last week and bought lunch where 30% of your receipts went back to helping the foundation.  Kessler Alair, the Kessler family, and Kathryn Dalton orchestrated this wonderful event!

Not long after Kessler Alair kicked off 2014, Jenna Hardy, alongside her mom and other close Claremont families and parents, held a fundraiser at the Dale Brothers Brewing Festival at Cable Airport.  Through tips and donations for the beer pourers, we were able to raise over $1,000!  While this event raised funds and certainly raised awareness about the foundation and its mission, it also served as an introduction between the foundation's community and Dale Brothers.  Dale Brothers has been a longtime supporter of grassroots foundations in the area, including ours, and it was great to bring Be Perfect's community to their event.

In February, we were able to start our first round of the mentor program at Project Walk Claremont.  Eight high school students learned about spinal cord injuries and the rehabilitation process via a 12 week course.  The course taught the students the ins and outs of a spinal cord injury through lectures, seminars and through working with the clients that attend Project Walk Claremont.  This program is led by Dr. Steve Bast and is the pinnacle of what we are trying to accomplish at Project Walk Claremont--educating young people so they can educate the rest of the world.  The second round of our mentor program is supposed to begin at the first part of 2015.

In March, the Kappa Delta Fraternity at Pomona College put on their second annual 5K run to raise money for the foundation.  The event was a huge success and further solidified the foundation's relationship with the Claremont College community.  Later that month, one of our biggest community partners, the Ontario Reign, held their end of the season Gala/Jersey Auction, with all of the proceeds going directly to the foundation.  The event raised an astounding $40,000 for the second straight year!  We could not be happier to have such great community partner.  The partnership was created due to Mike Alpert, CEO of The Claremont Club, and his efforts to reach out to others in the community in the spirit of giving back.  In addition to all that Mike does, we thank him for helping to establish this fantastic partnership with the Ontario Reign.

In May, Brandon Rayburn, a client and employee at Project Walk Claremont, used his local connections to introduce us to Ray Podesta, a local franchise owner of several IHOP restaurants. Mr. Podesta generously arranged for a portion of all funds raised on May 21st at a local IHOP to go back to the foundation. That fundraiser raised well over $3,000!  We are so grateful for that new and unique partnership with Mr. Podesta and IHOP.

Then came September, and the sixth annual fundraising event, "Endless Summer". Yet again, all of you exceeded our expectations with your level of support.  For the fourth straight year, we had over 1,000 people in attendance and were able to raise over $300,000 for the foundation!  Certainly our committee members are to be thanked as well, but it is you, the donors and supporters, who truly bring that night to life with your acts of kindness and generosity towards the foundation in our pursuit to help others in need.

Just recently, Project Walk Claremont at The Claremont Club had its grand re-opening to celebrate a privately-funded project for facility expansion and accompanying new equipment.  The 2,000 square foot expansion and new equipment will allow Project Walk to better serve its existing clients and, in addition, will allow the facility to open its doors to more new clients that could so desperately benefit from Project Walk's program.  The foundation's growth at Project Walk Claremont has been rapid since its inception just a year and a half ago, now with over 53 clients in our program and seven trainers. At this rate, there is no telling where the foundation and Project Walk could be another year from now.

In closing, we ask that you please, during these holidays, as many of you do year in and year out, take the time to consider and think about how grateful and thankful you are for everything that you have around you, whether it be monetarily, spiritually, health-wise, or family. Many of the individuals that we help within Be Perfect do not have many of those entities in their life fulfilled and it is through the help of all of you donors that we are able to help fulfill just some of those qualities back into their lives and to give them hope for more. Paying it forward in life is the true definition of what random acts of kindness are. Random acts of kindness do not even necessarily have to be monetary, but merely giving your time and effort. If you happen to consider giving through these holiday months, I encourage you to please consider the Be Perfect Foundation for those endeavors.  You can be a part of the team by supporting in so many different ways. For those of us who area Amazon shoppers, make sure to do your shopping through Amazon Smile, a portion of your normal purchase price will go directly to the foundation for all of your purchases once you sign up--no additional cost to you.  If you would like to donate now, simply donate any amount you wish to the foundation and you can even allocate those dollars towards a specific person or client at Donate Now.  Lastly, buy our merchandise and continue to spread awareness by visiting the Be Perfect Store.  But most importantly, make the conscious effort yourself through the holidays to know what it means to be perfect and to wear the bracelet proudly every morning when you wake up and have the peace of mind to understand how good it feels to pay it forward every day.

Make sure you tune in this week on Wednesday night, November 26th, to ABC 7 at 11 PM to check out the new piece that Elex Michaelson is doing on the Project Walk expansion and all of the great things that are going on at Project Walk Claremont. Thank you for being vital part of our growth this year, and I am so excited to see where the 2015 year will take us and all the people that we can reach and help then as well.

Happy holidays... and Be Perfect,

Hal Hargrave Jr.