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GALLERY :

Andie Venegas, Alexa Robles and Melody Trejo—Award Recipients at the 2016 Letter to My Parents(TM) Contest in Los Angeles

The nine contestants—Jashon Jackson, Rachel Lee, Linda Ly, Kimberly Quijada, Alexa Robles, Natalie Sanchez, Merry Touch, Melody Trejo and Andie Venegas—presented their letters to their parents, families, the general audience and the judges at the Silver Lake Medical Center's Cafeteria in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles.

Other finalists included Mireya Del Campo, Renz Eleazar, Perla Marisol Flores, Christine Marroquin and Deborah Zuleta. Finalists received a small gift courtesy of Reiyukai America along with their certificate of participation as one of the finalists sharing their message dedicated to their parents.

After the letters were read, the nine participants received a $50 Gift Certificate along a Certificate of Participation. Each of the contestants will be also receiving a "1 Year TestPrep Course Subscription" courtesy of BenchPrep and a Full Day Pass for the upcoming Pacific Media Expo 2016 courtesy of Pacific Media Expo.

Based on the guidelines, the group of judges selected three award recipients. For this year's contest the awards were presented to Andie Venegas for Bravery, Melody Trejo for Reflection and Alexa Robles for Proposal. Each of them received a prize of $500

The judges were Laura Anderson (Community Outreach, LAUSD Beyond the Bell Branch), Steven Wimberly (Program Director, the Salvation Army Compton Corps) and Stacey Yamamoto-Trang (Committee Member, LA Chinatown Firecracker Run.)

Cecile Ramos, President for the Rotary at the Hisotoric Filipinotown notes. "Working together with Reiyukai America, we are happy to call this project one of our signature events. But this was not possible without the support of the community. We are truly thankful to the following contributors for making this event happen! We thank, Dave Hart from State Farm, Suk Min Bae on behalf of Pacific Foods Co., Sharon Im from California Bank & Trust, Steve Meng on behalf of Cambodian Americans for Rural Education, Joy Garcia and Elizabeth Manasserian from the Rotary of Glendale Noon, Vernell Taylor from Union Bank, Josephine A. Brosas & Arleen E. Delos Santos, Attorneys at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, the Ramos Family, Terry and Dianne Gubatan, Ben Aranda and Gina Ramirez."

"For this year's contest we have received more than 100 letters from over 20 schools in Los Angeles County. The nine contestants represented different ethnic groups and communities from all over the County. At the same time, each of the letters reflects a diversity of life style and culture that we see in Los Angeles. Working together with the Rotary, we will continue bringing positive changes in the community because we believe that we must change the families first to bring changse into our community and the society!" mentioned Katsuko Nakagawa, member of the Reiyukai America National Committee.

For more details and photos of the event, please visit www.lettertomyparents.com