The historic Avalon Club in Hollywood was the setting for the launch and benefit of teen actress Cassidy Mack’s Foundation called, “Love Gives Chances.” Her parents, Jenn and Mike planned the surprise for Cassidy’s benefit to coincide on her 14th birthday.
The party began when an unsuspecting Cassidy entered the room planning to make a speech about her Foundation. Instead, she was faced with over 300 guests standing and applauding her.
It was astounding that her parents were able to invite so many people who kept the party a secret.
After hugs and a few tears from well-wishers, a reluctant Cassidy approached the stage and spoke from the heart about her journey from being neglected and abused while in the foster care system to knowing real, unconditional love through her “forever” family. She spoke about how her life has changed significantly since she was adopted eight years ago.
Looking pretty and petite, Cassidy Mack stood before a mesmerized group capturing everyone’s attention. With the wit and confidence of a seasoned professional, she spoke eloquently about her early years of abuse and neglect in the foster care system and how fortunate she is to have been adopted into a loving family.
Cassidy also admitted that she wasn’t exactly the poster child for good behavior. Today however, she has channeled that feisty, head strong determination into a cause she is passionate about. Her goal is to show kids in the foster care system that there are people in the world who care about them and that they too can realize their dream.
Although the first six years of Cassidy’s life were far from ideal, two caring individuals helped her to find her métier, through singing and acting in musical theater. She began to take acting seriously after a chance meeting with Ryan Gosling and decided to become an actress.
Cassidy has since enjoyed appearing in commercials, short and feature films and has had several co-star roles on television.
The foundation launch party was also an opportunity to bring together the diverse group of friends that Cassidy has met while working in film and television. Among the attendees were her voice coach, kids from her acting group, and even a couple of security guards from a major film studio. A real surprise guest was her former caseworker Lori. Lori has known Cassidy from the time she was born. Lori’s parents also flew in from Texas to honor the little girl who had been taken out of the foster care system and was given an opportunity to lead a happy and wholesome life. A comment from Lori sums it up “I have known Cassidy since the day she was born, and I am so proud to see her thriving and happy. Further commenting, “it is apparent from the number of people in this room that Cassidy has touched the lives of so many.” Entertainment was provided by her best friend, Britt Flatmo who sang Cassidy’s favorite song, “Coming Home”. Actor Dexter Darden, also a member of Cassidy’s growing extended family, served as MC of the festivities and sang a ballad accompanied by songwriter and guitarist, Austin Powell.
There were a number of recognized sponsors for the benefit including: Theresa Rose Designs, Mary's Cake Shop, Cowboy Professional, Whole Foods Hollywood, Moonhill Productions, Charity Tunes, Chick Fil-A Hollywood, Kazandjian Photography, The Online Photoshop, Andre Gordon of 4 Horseman Films, and Becca Flinn , her Acting Coach. There was also a silent auction donated by her vocal coach, Johnathan George.
Cassidy proudly says, “My goal is to empower Foster Youth and encourage them to find the courage to go after their dreams.” No doubt she will.
For information on Cassidy's organization go to: http://lovegiveschances.org/