It all started with a bout of insomnia. "I have trouble sleeping at night," admitted Sarah Ferranto Brennick, "so I usually end up getting out of bed and playing on my computer until I'm sleepy. One night I stumbled on a contest hosted by California Pizza Kitchen called 'Dear Mom, For You I Wish...' and I decided to enter it. I never expected to win, so I was shocked when I received the call telling me that out of 1,500 entries mine was selected! I knew when I won that I wanted to donate the winnings to A Kid's Place."
So goes the story of Sarah Ferranto Brennick, who chose her mother and her love for foster children as the basis of her entry. "My mom, Amelia Anne Ferranto, passed away years ago, but I still wanted to honor her and share my wish for her; this is all done with love in memory of my mother."
California Pizza Kitchen was so moved by Sarah's entry and her subsequent desire to donate the prize money that they decided to serve dinner to all the children at A Kid's Place. Taking it even further, they helped decorate for The Birthday Bunch monthly birthday celebration and presented an interactive lesson on pizza dough, allowing the children to feel the dough and watch as it was tossed in the air.
Sarah's tribute was a beautiful gift to her mother's memory, and the $4,000 prize from California Pizza Kitchen will make an impact on foster children from all over the greater Tampa Bay area. To further enhance this celebration, California Pizza Kitchen provided chef's jackets to each birthday child. Twelve year old "Shane" was photographed with the other birthday celebrants but was the only child not smiling. When later asked why he looked so sad in the picture, he responded with an honesty that can only be found in children: "That night was the happiest night of my life," he said quietly. "I knew if I smiled I'd start to cry, and I didn't want the other kids to see me. It was the best birthday I've ever had."
Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your words in memory of your mother, for sharing your winnings in honor of all foster children, and for sharing your loving and giving heart with all of us at A Kid's Place.