About

Mission

The Colleagues, founded in 1950, is a non-profit corporation of 65 active and over 25 sustaining members who support and raise funds to benefit Children's Institute, Inc. in their efforts to end child abuse and neglect. These funds are raised through weekly sales at “The Colleagues Gallery” in Santa Monica and at an annual Spring Luncheon. A private non-profit agency serving Los Angeles for more than one hundred years, Children's Institute, Inc. helps children and their families who are affected by violence, abuse and other trauma. In addition to direct services, CII reaches more children through professional training, research and other leadership activities.

Annual Spring Luncheon

In addition to the resale boutique, The Colleagues host a Spring luncheon and fashion show to benefit Children’s Institute, Inc. The sold-out event includes the presentation of the prestigious Champion of Children Award, which honors those who have made a lasting impact on the lives of children.

Champion of Children Award Honorees

2015

Former First Lady Laura Bush, Barbara Bush & Jenna Bush

2014

Princess Charlene of Monaco

2013

Wallis Annenberg

2012

Sherry Lansing

2011

Nancy Reagan

2010

Oscar de la Renta

2009

Wolfgang & Gelila Puck

2008

Angie Harmon & Jason Sehorn

2007

Brooke Shields & Christopher Henchy

2006

Merv Griffin

2005

Maria Shriver

2004

Robert Graham & Anjelica Huston

2003

Police Chief William Bratton

2002

Shawn & Larry King

2001

Annette Benning & Warren Beatty

2000

Constance Towers Gavin & john Gavin

1999

Alexandra & Sidney Sheldon

1998

Governor & Mrs. Peter Wilson

1997

Diane Sawyer & Mike Nichols

1996

Georgiana & Ricardo Montalban

1995

Lee & Walter Annenberg

1994

Charles M. Schultz

1993

Sophia Loren

1992

Betty Ford

1991

Audrey Hepburn

1990

Gloria & Jimmy Stewart

1989

Nancy Reagan

History

Founded in 1950 by Mrs. Homer Toberman, The Colleagues consisted of nine founding members and 30 active members, who staged small rummage sales to raise money for The Big Sister League. In the 1980’s this agency expanded to become Children’s Institute Incorporated (CII) and is the sole beneficiary of The Colleagues’ donations. Over the past 65 years the Colleagues have also evolved to now include 65 active members and are supported by other loyal, but less active, members. The Colleagues play a significant role in CII's growth, providing necessary resources to help fund new facilities and programs. Since 1949, The Colleagues have donated over $25 million to serve Los Angeles’ most vulnerable children - those harmed by community and family violence, abuse and neglect. The Colleagues' continued support is critical to CII’s ability to improve the lives of more than 24,000 children and families each year. The Colleagues are women who volunteer their time and expertise to manage and maintain high standards at our resale boutique and for our annual Spring Luncheon. We look forward to welcoming you to the Colleagues Room.
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