Jason Lezak & Rosemary Children’s Services

Oct 18, 2012

Olympian Jason Lezak; photo courtesy of

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray you, love, remembers.”

That is Ophelia speaking to Hamlet. Her words inspired Mrs. Emma Spear and her fellow Pasadena Shakespeare Club women in 1920 to name their shelter program for teenage girls Rosemary Children’s Services.

RCS has grown in the last 92 years from a small home that accomodated 10 at-risk girls and a housemother to today’s organization that helps nearly 400 children throughout Los Angeles, San Bernadino, Riverside and Orange Counties. Their programs include a Foster Family and Adoption Agency, a Mental Health Program, and the Residential Program, which includes Rosemary Cottage, four group homes, and one transitional living home.

Chef Claud Beltran’s Gumbo Fest last month raised money for a bathroom overhaul at the Cottage. The residents are teenage girls, 19 in all, so you can well imagine how important is a properly sized, modern facility. So far, RCS has been able to raise almost half of the needed funds and Kristi Lopez, Community Development Director, informed us that applications have been submitted to various grants as well. If you feel compelled to donate (you can even text a pledge of $5 via your cell phone), or are interested to see how you could volunteer at a special event, during the holidays as a gift wrapper or stocking stuffer, to offer your experience and teach a skill such as cooking, painting, or a sport, you can visit their “How to Contribute” page.

In early October, RCS held its first “Tee-Off for Teens” golf tournament at La Verne Country Club. Over 100 golfers were “pampered with massages given by Equinox in preparation for their attempts to secure a trophy and win the closest to the pin and longest drive contests.” Over $12,000 was raised.

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak and the 2010 Miss California Teen USA Emma Baker signed on to support RCS in a Public Service Announcement.

Rosemary Children’s Services is interested in building relationships with residents in the community. To that end, on Wednesday, October 24th, they will be having an open house.  Greg Wessels, Chief Executive Officer, will open the program. Wessels has been a part of RCS since 2000. His successes can be felt everywhere, from the additional group home he coordinated with L.A. County; the newly built sports court and parking

Romberger Guild members: Roma Kiser, Gay Redkay, Lin Vlacich, and Maggie Ewing

lot; the updated landscaping; the Day Treatment classes, Group Centered Leadership program, and the individual and family therapy sessions offered in collaboration with the Department of Mental Health, to moving the girls out of the double-wide trailer that functioned as their school and into a remodeled facility on the Kinneloa campus.

After a brief informational program, the open house will offer a tour of the oldest cottage in use, built in 1928.

Most importantly, this is an opportunity for the public to find out about Rosemary Children’s Services, ask questions, find out about their programs, and meet the “front line” staff who are working everyday to help heal, nurture, lead, guide, and educate dozens of local girls and boys—any child who has endured abuse, neglect, and even abandonment.

Additionally, the Romberger Guild is having a fundraiser, their 2nd “Ritz Rack Sale,” October 27th and 28th. Women’s gently-used designer clothing, jewelry, scarves, belts and handbags will be available for purchase. The proceeds from this event will benefit RCS’s group home, the Romberger House, in South Pasadena and be used for an extensive remodeling of their kitchen.

Rosemary Children’s Services Open House
Wed., Oct. 24th, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
3244 E. Green St

Ritz Rack Designer Sale
Sat., Oct. 27th, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 28th, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
820 E. California Blvd., adjacent to the Assistance League of Pasadena’s Craft Fair
Parking available at the rear from the Hudson Ave. entrance
For further info on either event , call Kristi Lopez at 626.844.3033, ext. 211



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