For Litzia Martin, being a FACE recipient meant "knowing people were aware I was trying hard." The freshman at Saint Mary's College of California credits FACE — Family Aid Catholic Education — with helping her parents provide her with the gift of a Catholic education.
To assist the Martins and others like them, FACE will hold its biggest fundraiser of the year on March 17. Organizers hope "the sharing of the green" will help support the more than 500 children currently receiving assistance, but also move some of the more than 1,500 qualified students off the waiting list.
Entertainment will be provided by the McBride School of Irish Dance, and the Bishop O'Dowd Jazz Combo. The night's host will be Bob Sarlatte, the San Francisco comedian who has often been a guest on David Letterman's television program. During the dinner, guests will hear success stories from FACE recipients. Auctions, including a trip to Ireland, are planned, as well as silent auctions.
"Without the help, we wouldn't be able to send our kids to Catholic school," Zolayma said. "We hope every year," she said, of the wait to hear that funds will be available for the family.
The FACE grants — $1,750 for elementary school students, $3,050 for high school students — provide a portion of the student's tuition. For the Martins, coming up with the rest means they sacrifice. Vacations are not on the family's calendar — but, said the mother, picnics in the park, and family time, are.
"With the help of organizations like FACE," said Zolayma Martin, "we always have hope."
That hope is mirrored in Litzia. With a passion for math, she tells her mother "I'm going to go as far as I can go." With the goal of becoming a teacher, that includes a doctoral degree.
"If you want it," her mother tells her, "you can do it."
Litzia, in turn, loves helping her siblings. "I love helping them with homework," she said. "They enjoy learning."
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