UPF LA Hosts Annual Parents’ Day Celebration
Pasadena, CA – After several months of preparations for the annual National Parents Day, we had an amazing event far exceeding anyone’s expectations. Twenty-five (25) nominee couples confirmed and twenty-one (21) couples actually attended bringing their children and other relatives along with them. Among them are four couples from the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. A whole lot more came to support and participate in the event.
Most of the award recipients are high level and very dignified people. One of them was Rebecca Holden, a well-known singer and actress in Hollywood with her husband. She was very happy and even offered to sing to any future UPF events.
Another awardee, Dr. Steven Soon-Young Kwon, who made more than 60 trips to Afghanistan in order to help Afghan people to grow food and help them with
their needs has done truly remarkable contributions to the community
There were several musicians with very successful careers and also parents of Pasadena City Council Member and two other city employees.
This year, three certificates were given to each couple. One from Assemblyman Chris Holden’s office who sent his assistant to help us present them. Another one from Congresswoman Judy Chu and one from the newly appointed State Senator Anthony Portantino. Senator Portantino was also a Parents of the Year awardee. He personally came to deliver the keynote address. His message was about the value of love and family and he touched many people’s hearts since it was very sincere and personal.
During the program, Rebecca Zinke, a member of the FFWPU LA choir sang the national anthem while Alexa Yamilla Ocana, a 10-year old girl who participated in “America’s Got Talent” offered two songs and captured people’s hearts and attention. The master of the ceremony was City Commissioner, Mr. Nat Nehdar, who has attended a seminar in Hawaii and the World Summit in Korea. He worked extremely hard and brought many of the prominent couples to the event and was the key figure in inviting Mr. Portantino and in obtaining certificates from Judy Chu. He really loves Parents Day and UPF and is suggesting to host, through the endorsement of Senator Portantino, Parents Day celebrations in many locations in Southern California to expand our activities
The UPF team, Keith McCarthy, Jack Ashworth, Ray Martin and a new addition Curtis Martin and his wife were moved and inspired and will continue their support for UPF. The whole event was filled with joy, happiness, friendship, and pride. Everyone expressed their gratitude and praise and many people expressed that they will send their nominees for next year.
When my turn to speak came, I got an inspiration from God that I should share some quotes from Father Moon. I also went on to explain that Rev. Moon was the inspiration for establishing Parent’s Day in America where it became a law signed by President Clinton as a national holiday. Furthermore, I shared about the four-position foundation (God-centered families) as a necessity in bringing true love and true peace in this world.
Everyone was invited to a celebration lunch prepared by Katrin McCarthy, Sandra
and myself. About 10 couples and their children came to visit Pasadena House (UPF Headquarter) and break bread together. The spirit of Father’s house captured their attention and made them curious about our UPF Co-founders.
As we are serving lunch, we seized great opportunities to share with them on a personal level and explained some of our thinking. It was such a good strategy to welcome them to our office and show them love and respect. I felt it was a great foundation for these wonderful people on their future.
Finally, we want to acknowledge the support of our local church leader: Pastor George Kazakos who helped us set up the sound system. Also, Matt Ishizuka who took photos and videos, and countless members who helped out in many ways. This event created hope and stimulated our members to do more in the future.
I would like also to acknowledge my wife, Ulli, who was my biggest internal and external support. I felt that our unity as husband and wife with God as our motivation was the key towards a very succeeeful Parents Day celebration.
Contributed by: Nasser Zomorod, Executive Director, Southern California