The mother of four and grandmother of one said she never finds the time to pamper herself.
She puts family first.
On Saturday, May 12 — the day before Mother’s Day — she and 29 other mothers, all former clients of the Orange County Family Justice Center, got the royal treatment for taking steps to make positive changes in their lives.
The OCFJC, founded by the Anaheim PD in 2006, serves all Orange County victims of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse and sexual assaults — among life’s ugliest experiences.
The May 12 event, “Queen for a Day: A Celebration of Change,” was all about beauty.
“One of the profound and long-lasting effects of family violence is the damage that it does to one’s self-esteem and self-worth,” said Tracy Theodore, executive director of the OCFJC Foundation.
“The ‘Queen for a Day’ event provided a wonderful group of women a day of empowerment and beauty makeovers, and was an opportunity to recognize these strong women as leaders in their families and community,” Theodore added.
The OCFJC’s partner agencies each selected three to five women who successfully participated in their programs. Those agencies were Casa de la Familia, Wayfinders, Human Options, Women’s Transitional Living Center, Consulate of Mexico in Santa Ana, Chapman University, and the Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation.
The event coincided with Mother’s Day weekend specifically to recognize all of the hard work the women face in raising strong and healthy families despite the challenges they’ve experienced, and for surviving and thriving after family violence, Theodore said.
“It was a great group of ladies, and some pretty wonderful families in attendance, too,” she said.
Participants arrived at 8:30 a.m. for their makeovers. Guests arrived at 11:30 a.m. as a slide show played in the background.
The ceremony, during which the mothers received certificates recognizing them for making a positive change in their lives, began at 11:45 a.m.
A half-dozen APD explorers helped out during the event.
All 30 of the women received a makeover by Beauty Glam Academy (makeup and hairstyle) the day of the event.
Ten of those women were selected to receive full makeovers two to three days before the event (haircut, hair color change, pedicure and manicure).
Marilu Torres, founder of Beauty Glam Academy, is a former client of the OCFJC. She was referred from the OCFJC to the Mexican Consulate, where she took some classes on how to start her own business.
Torres was inspired through those classes to begin her own beauty academy to help other women feel empowered through the power of makeup and design, said Stephanie Bruschini, program director at the OCFJC.
A professional photographer donated his time to take portraits of the women and their families. The OCFJC will be printing and framing the portraits for the women, Bruschini said.
The mother of four and grandmother, who is not being named because she’s a victim of domestic violence, said she truly felt like a queen May 12.
“I never get the opportunity to do things like this for myself,” she said. “I have always focused on taking care of my family, which left no room to pamper myself and focus on my needs.
“Being a mother of four and a grandmother of one takes away from my ‘me’ time.
This event has helped me realize how important it is to do things for myself, from time to time.
“When I walked down the red carpet, received my award and my rose, I felt like a true queen. I will always remember this day and how special it made me feel. I have not felt this way in such a long time.
“I feel beautiful, accomplished, and special.”