The Pulse of Entertainment: Celebrity Supported ‘Jonathan
Foundation' Fundraiser a Major Success
"We are privately funded. We have lots of support... a large following," said Raja Marhaba, founder of The Jonathan
Foundation, which recently held its annual fundraiser at the Marconi Automotive Museum in the Los Angeles area. The support
she talked about was there in abundant in the form of many young celebrity actors from NBC, Nickelodeon, Disney, and ABC there
to meet the press and spread the word - all friends of Jonathan. "We have a scholarships fund. We finance private assessments
that can range from $2,000. We give children an identification of their strengths and weaknesses so family can better understand
them and so doctors can make recommendations to what the schools need to provide them."
When I ask the many young actors there what it means to them to give back to the community
and organizations such as "The Jonathan Foundation" the replies were sincere and heart-warming. Tara-Nicole Azarian
(Nickelodeon's "Game Shakers") said, "I'm actually severely dyslexic so this organization is really important
to me because it helps kids with severe disabilities...you just need to give kids the attention they need for their disability.
What they do here is so amazing."
Jacob Hopkins (Cartoon Network's
"The Amazing World of Gumball") a very close friend of the family said about his support of the 16 year old organization,
"You're not doing something for yourself...you are doing something for someone else. Its something about that to me that
is very important."
"I think it's important...because the
community has given us so much," said Amber Romero (Disney's XD "Future-Worm").
"It is not just (about) me," said Jonathan Marhaba, whom the foundation was named after.
"It's my brother as well (Omar Marhaba). My brother and I have challenges. His is incognito...it's easy to see my disabilities.
I have ADHD and dyslexia so initially it was named after me but my brother is a big part. We endured as a family; his disability
compounded with mine is where this foundation was created."
brother Omar is his younger sibling. They both sit on the board of the foundation while mentoring children to help them better
understand what they are going through and to let them know they are not alone. They encourage people when they speak on the
subject that a learning disorder is not a disability but a gift.
event co-hosted by Kathleen Bradley ("The Price if Right") auctioned off autograph memorabilia from sports, television
and film celebrities to support the organization that in-turn finances private assessments for children with learning disorders.
Other actors in attendance included Merit Leighton (Disney's "Sofia the First"),
Marlowe Peyton (ABC's "Fresh Off the Boat"), Kiana Lyz Rivera (TNT's "Major
Crimes"), Mateo (Comedy Central's "Kroll Show"), Hayley Gripp ("CSI:
Las Vegas") and Ava Cantrell (Warner Bros/New Line's "Lights Out").
I asked what super power they would pick and what they would do with
it all gave creative and inspiring answer that tells me the world is in good hands, if
they only believed - like I do - that they could make those powers real.
pick) The super power to multiply things. I would be able to end world hunger," said
Hunter Payton (NBC's "A - Z").
"I would have
the power to shape-shift," said Amber Romero ("Clique Wars"). "I'd be able
to change into anything I want to. There is so much you can do...you can help other people
or just have fun."
Jacob said his power would be "immeasurable
strength." Tara-Nicole said she would wan psychic powers to know when someone is about
to commit murder so she could stop it, "No one would be in jail. That would be really cool."
Raja said the assessments are discovering that, "The school district's assessment
is not comprehensive and that is very common. The private sector taps into that and gets
clarity on what's happening with them."
"I hate the word disability because like I said it's an advantage...it's
a gift. It's being able to find accommodations. I can talk to my phone and say, ‘how do you
spell this word?'...thanks to technology," said Jonathan. "We hope to educate people and help people
see how they ca use technology...that's what its there fore. If we can use it to help these
kids be successful and excel...that is the goal. To have someone come up to you and say
you changed my life...money can't replace that."
To learn more about "The Jonathan Foundation" or support their fundraising efforts log
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership
of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public
Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is
Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com.
EVENT: 18th annual "Uplifting Minds II" Free Entertainment Conference (Baltimore and
Los Angeles in October, 2017). Entertainment Business panel and national talent showcase
competition (vocal, songwriting and dance) with over $13,000 in prizes. www.UpliftingMinds2.com.