Her children’s community service inspired her own

| August 3, 2012 | 0 Comments


By Laura Eversz

Flo Fowkes might be retired, but her volunteer calendar of activities with both the Assistance League of Southern California (ALSC) and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) is full.

And the former attorney points to her daughters, Jillian and Sloane, as two reasons why.

“I’m on the board of the Assistance League, which I got involved with when Jillian was an Assisteen,” said Fowkes, who practiced civil litigation as an attorney.

Assisteens, one of the programs of the League, teaches teenagers how to do community service through both fundraising and hands-on projects. Both of Fowkes’ daughters have participated in the program.

“What really strikes me, having worked with Flo is the passion and professionalism she brings to her volunteer work,” said Colleen Gold, ALSC member. “The time she has spent with the Assisteens has opened the eyes of so many young people to the needs of our community and how they can be effective volunteers.”

“I really loved watching my girls go through the process and learn to help people in their community,” said Fowkes.

An example of that is a program initiated by her younger daughter, Sloane, in which volunteers regularly grocery shop for homebound seniors identified through the League’s Hollywood Senior Multipurpose Center.

“It’s a great thing to do, particularly because oftentimes it’s the only social contact these people have,” said Fowkes. With Sloane away at college, Fowkes and husband, Richard, who live in Windsor Square, took over her shopping commitments. “But my daughter still calls them sometimes just to chat,” said her mom.

In fact, her work with seniors has inspired an interest by the Dickinson College senior in pursuing a path of social work with the elderly, Fowkes says proudly.

But there’s more to the League than Assisteens.


“It’s really a full, multi-service kind of agency,” she explains. Through Operation School Bell, “we provide clothing to children from L.A. public schools who are referred by counselors, and in the spring we provide prom dresses and accessories to 50 girls.”

“Flo is a very dedicated member of Operation School Bell, serving on the board for many years, said Andy Goodman, a member of the League’s Anne Banning Auxiliary that supports the program. “In addition, she serves as our receptionist one day a month, welcoming all of the children to Operation School Bell with her wonderful smile.”

Her husband gets in on the action too by playing the piano at School Bell events. “It’s something we enjoy doing together as a family and it’s very rewarding for us,” Fowkes says.

She helps out with other League services as well. “We have a nursery school program, family service organizations whose goal is to keep families intact and include counseling and support as well as mental health programs.

The League’s senior center also benefits from Fowke’s dedication.

“She is one of the most generous, giving friends of the Hollywood Senior Multipurpose Center,” said executive director Barbara Linski. “She devotes time, talent and treasure to see that older adults age in place with grace and dignity. If she is not doing grocery shopping for a frail older adult, she is gathering buckets of cleaning supplies to donate, or she is rallying friends to the cause,” she added.

One wonders, then, how Fowkes has time to devote to her role as treasurer of Children’s Chain, which supports Children’s Hospital L.A. through a variety of fundraising events and projects throughout the year.

“It’s again something I got involved in because of my daughters.” The older, Jillian, took part in Las Madrinas, another support group of the hospital, and later so did Sloane. So it’s no surprise their mother followed suit. “It’s just a great institution and, again, a rewarding thing to do,” she says simply.

Despite her work at both the League and the hospital, Fowkes still finds time for her other passions, “cooking and entertaining… I do a lot of that,” she laughed.”

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Category: People

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