By Kathy L. Collins

To celebrate Mother’s Day, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) hosted a special contest during the month of May called “Dear Mom, For You, I Wish.” Guests could share a special wish for their mom. Over 1,500 people entered.

The winner was Sarah Brennick who wrote an amazing tribute to her mom. Brennick’s wish was to donate the prize money in honor of her mother, Amelia Anne Ferranto, to A Kid’s Place, a 60 bed residential facility in Brandon for children, from birth to age 17, who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. On July 13, Brennick’s wish to honor her mother was granted, and A Kid’s Place received $4,000.

According to Greg Guevara, general manager for CPK, “It was heartwarming to see so many entries and the many ways our guests wanted to make Mother’s Day extra special for their moms. To pick the winner, a panel of CPK team members from the home office read and reviewed every single entry and had a tough job of selecting a recipient. Everyone was deeply touched by Sarah’s story about her mom’s selfless actions and how Sarah is continuing her mother’s legacy at A Kid’s Place.”

Brennick said, “My mother passed away 19 years ago. She came to the U.S. when she was 15, not speaking a word of English. She then proceeded to foster children, open a few restaurants and diners, open our home to anyone and everyone that needed a meal, a place to stay or just company. I am who I am because of her and I am so happy that I can show my children that anyone can make a difference in the world. She left an amazing legacy that I am honored to carry on.”

Brennick, who was a foster child, volunteers at A Kid’s Place. “When I first started volunteering at A Kid’s Place, I cried the first few months. But the more time I spent there, the more I realized that this environment was a blessing for these children,” said Brennick. “It really was an amazing feeling to be able to donate $4,000 to A Kid’s Place.”

Guevara said, “Our local teams at CPK Brandon and International Plaza are so excited that Sarah’s wish was selected from entries across the entire country and that we get to help grant this special wish in her mom’s honor at A Kid’s Place.”

For more information on A Kid’s Place, visit akidsplacetb.org.