Emily Shane Foundation Charity Event – Paying It Forward



Emily Shane Foundation

Purple festooned the Casa Escobar Restaurant at the Malibu Inn (22969 Pacific Coast Highway) in honor of Emily Shane and – the Emily Shane Foundation as over 175 people gathered to celebrate the success of this budding program. 

Emily Shane Foundation at Casa Escobar at the Malibu Inn

Commerating her bright life and her death, the Emily Shane Foundation assists students who, like Emily, had difficulty in school.  Despite her brilliance, she needed help. Seventh grade teacher, Gene Bream, spoke of Emily’s abilities.  Her problem was a processing issue.  Emily had been an audio learner and not a visual one.  If you asked her, she knew the answers, but communicating it on paper was hard.  Her parents found her tutors, but not all families have the knowledge or funds to deal with their children. 

Emily Shane Foundation - Michel and Emily Shane with Jonathan Banks

Schools have issues dealing with failing students. 

 It was April 3, 2010, on Heathcliff Road and Pacific Coast Highway that 13-year-old Emily Shane, walking along the road to meet her father, was murdered as a suicidal driver, angry at losing his job, sped down the road not paying attention to anyone or anything. 

What do you do with your anger and grief when your daughter is murdered?  When can a tragedy can turn into something good?

Emily Shane Foundation - Michel and Ellen Shane - parents of Emily and founders of SEA

Grief stricken, the family knew they had to survive. Even as the dirt bounced off the casket, they realized that in Emily’s memory they had to create something in her memory…a site of good deeds.  Emily had always been concerned about other people’s feelings.  She was the first to welcome strangers in school, include them in her friendship group, and comfort a friend on a loss. 

At first the family concentrated on their Pass It Forward Campaign where people would log in their good deeds.  It didn’t have to be major things like saving a life. Simple good deeds, like complimenting someone on what they wore or helping a friend with homework, were acceptable.  The goal was 100,000,000 good deeds, but more had to be done. 

Emily Shane Foundation - DJ One Destiny

Ellen Shane wondered how many students, like Emily, had fallen through the cracks of the school system with their potential being wasted.  She knew that those children not succeeding risked not only total failure, but depression, gang involvement, low self-esteem, drugs, and skipped classes.  The more they failed, they worse things became for the kids.  It is in middle school, Ellen realized that this is where most students, questioning their abilities, started down “the wrong path.” 

Even parents in affluent communities as Malibu are not aware of the IEP process or the 504, which identifies children with special needs.  So, in Emily’s memory, the Shane family proceeded to expand their work. 

Emily Shane Foundation - Mentee Durron

With a whirlwind of energy, Ellen Shane created the SEA – Successful Educational Achievement – that she runs almost singlehandedly.   Hiring or finding assistants from university students – some of them in the school’s work/study programs – she, with the help of school counselors, identified the at risk kids.  They chose and targeted kids who could not afford but very much needed the support and help. 

Emily Shane Foundation - Mary Kate - one of the mentors

The mentors, as Mary Kate and Kelsey, who receive a modicum of training, then assist these kids not only with their homework, but with organizing their lives and improving their study habits.  Seeing the students twice a week, they change lives.  There is no cost to the students involved in the program.  Often, the mentors also serve as sounding boards for the kids who often feel as if they have no one that who understands them.

Emily Shane Foundation - Singer Taylor Phelan

At the evening, Mary Kate talked of Kevin, her student who, with his speech impediment, was often bullied.  They began to learn not only about English grammar, but about in life in general.  The sessions became his motivation for school and life, in general. 

Emily Shane Foundation -- MCJohnathan Banks

Students like Jose Garcia, Durron and Emilin talked of how their mentors and the SEA program had changed their lives. 

Emily Shane Foundation - Teacher Gene Bream and Mentee Jose Garcia

Besides requiring them to learn about Emily and her life, the students must – for every hour of help they are given – do something nice for someone else as in the movie “Pay It Forward.”

These participating children – now coming from all over the city and as far as South central – have all improved not only in their grades, but in their attitude and esteem.  They now coach over 117 students and have 70 mentors.

Emily Shane Foundation - the founders Ellen and Michel Shane

Sponsors for the evening included Rock Your Hair by Michael O’Rourke, Malibu Family Wines, and the SEA program.

Emily Shane Foundation - Shin Koyamada

A silent auction to raise funds included items from Hugo’s Restaurant, Malibu Rock And Jewelry, Malibu Hypnotherapy, Malibu Beach Yoga, Geffen PlayhouseBullet Proof Coffee, Aloha Screening with the cast and crew, Givenchy bag,  Soul Cycle classes, Scuba experience from Malibu Divers,  Universal Studio passes, Lynn Jacobs Pilates class,  Blue Plate, Kristy’s Restaurant, Vibrano Jazz and Grill, Ciana Heals Basket, Dodgers tickets,  Pirates of Caribbean coins,  Chronicles of Narnia coins, Tattoo experience,  Rock & Reilley Pearl’s, Malibu gymWeinstein DVD Oscar collection,  Jeanette’s Skin Care, Carrie Kaplan  art work, assorted celebrity photos from Frank Worth, Julian Lennon Photography,  Teen Choice Award tickets, two nights at a Malibu studio beach house,  Ackerman Family Wine tasting and tour in Napa valley, and the Malibu colony, among others. 


Master of Ceremonies for the evening event was Jonathan Banks, who introduced musician Taylor Phelan.  Among others present were Shin Koyamada, Lucas Til, Cindy Landon, and Benjamin Seng.

Mexican cusine was provided for the event by Casa Edscobar, while the sweet table was provided by the committee bakers.

Emily Shane Foundation - food home baked by commttee members

“It’s not what you have, it’s what you can give others,” said producer Michel Shane, father of Emily, who is currently finishing a documentary about the hazards of Pacific Coast Highway and the need for stop lights at many of the intersections. 

Now in its third year of operation, this 501c3 relies on grants and donations to survive.   The Kiwanis club proudly presented a check for $10,000, which will go far to help many children.

Because the butterfly was Emily’s favorite creature, that has become the symbol of the organization.   Your support provides a brighter future for middle school students.  Of course, one can donate whatever they are comfortable with, however, they have made up categories for those who wish to participate – Cocoon $500; lacewing $500-1000; swallow tail $1000-5000;  crimson rose $5000-10,000; monarch $10,000 -25,000; and the gladiator – over $25,000.   Respects for anonymity will be respected.

For more information to volunteer or donate check out the web site or call 213 290 5441 and be sure to list your good deeds on the Emily Shane site



















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