Twenty-five formerly homeless individuals who have transformed their lives with the support of local nonprofit agencies were recognized at the Westside Shelter & Hunger Coalition’s 15th annual Celebrating Success breakfast in Santa Monica late last month.

John Maceri, chair of the WSHC and executive director of the Santa Monica-based social service agency OPCC, presided over the event at the Fairmont Miramar hotel. Jean Martirez, news co-anchor for Fox 11 Morning News, served as emcee for the breakfast.

“We are here to honor individuals who did not give up hope,” Martirez said of the formerly homeless honorees. “They faced adversity and triumphed over it. They utilized the services available to them to benefit themselves and the community.”

In addition to honoring individuals, the event also paid tribute to local organizations and businesses that have supported the coalition members’ programs and clients in an exceptional manner.

The 13 organizations and businesses honored this year included Vons, Pure Design, Kehillat Israel Tzedekah Teens Bet, Thad’s/Pastor Jimmy Bartz, Keller Williams Realty Brentwood, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Payden & Rygel, Imagine LA, Phil Glosserman, Ascent Media Group, Topanga Women’s Circle, Dr. Ami Oren, and Square-H Brands, Inc.

In addition, the coalition presented its 2010 Partnership Award to the Santa Monica hospitality industry and Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce also presented its Business Cares awards to: Google, Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.

Nearly 500 people representing government, businesses, residents, social service agencies and the faith community attended the event.

Information, www.westsideshelter.org.

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