Love in the Mirror Hopes You’ll Help “Be the Change” at First-Ever Fundraiser

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Jonas Corona passing out food on Skid Row. Photo credit: Hale Davis and Tomomi Shirai

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. […] We need not wait to see what others do.

–Mahatma Gandhi

Jonas Corona has hosted a youth-empowerment workshop. He’s the youth advocate for the Long Beach Free School. And why not? He’s a 10-year-old who four years ago co-founded the nonprofit Love in the Mirror, whose mission is “to inspire young people to make a difference through their volunteer commitment of providing needy and homeless youth basic necessities such as food, clothing and learning materials.”

But as ironic as it may sound, nonprofits need money to operate. And so on June 29 Corona and company will throw Love in the Mirror’s first charity event, the Be the Change Benefit Dinner.

“We really want people to understand that, although the attention and the abundance of in-kind donations we receive are appreciated, we are still in need of funding to continue our programs and workshops and to continue to reach out to more people in need,” explains Love in the Mirror co-founder Renee Corona (who also happens to be Jonas’s mom). “The money raised at our benefit will help make our 2nd Annual Backpack Drive a success, which will benefit students in need throughout Los Angeles County and Orange Counties, focusing on the Mary Bethune Center here in Long Beach. Jonas’s goal this year is to collect 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies.”

Acting as the event’s master of ceremonies will be Justin Rudd, who admires the commitment to community betterment displayed by both the organization and the people behind it.

“Over the years I’ve seen all that Love in the Mirror does to help others in our community, and I like that and want to support them,” Rudd says. “The Coronas come to my monthly beach cleanups, too. I’m impressed by what this youngster has inspired and accomplished, and I want to support their effort to raise funds. My goal is to get attendees to open their wallets and give to Love in the Mirror and the programs it supports.”

The dinner is sponsored by GT’s Kombucha Tea and Ohana Brewery and will be catered by Bootstrap Catering, a local outfit. According to an event press release, “A staff member from GT’s Kombucha Tea will be serving up some of their famous and popular flavors of their hip, healthy tea and Ohana Brewery, a Los Angeles Craft Beer Brewery will be serving some of their delicious beer to go with the pub-style food being catered.”

Long Beach parlor jazz trio The Funny Valentines will provide the evening’s entertainment. Also in the offing is a silent auction and raffle. Prizes include tickets to Dodgers games and Knott’s Berry Farm, as well as a dinner date with Jonas himself.

Love in the Mirror’s inaugural Be the Change Benefit Dinner takes place, Saturday, June 29, from 6PM to 9PM at the Bungalow Building, located at 727 Pine Ave.. Cost is $40 per ticket, $75 per couple, $350 per table of 10. Tickets can be purchased securely online at loveinthemirror.org. For more info, contact Renee Corona at 562.433.5100 or [email protected].

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