Heart Menders Throughout the Years

Welcome to our Heart Menders page, where we celebrate the extraordinary people who have been the heartbeat of Richstone Family Center over the last 50 years. From tireless volunteers to passionate advocates, they have helped shape our mission, guide our growth, and have been a driving force in our efforts to heal and empower communities.

Dennis Ascher

Dennis Ascher was a Vice President at Foothill Capital when he was introduced to Richstone by his boss John Nickoll, the company’s President. John had heard Dorothy Courtney United Way presentation to the Foothill staff about Richstone and its mission. Richstone was looking for someone with a finance background to join the Board and serve as Treasurer. John recommended Dennis. In 1995 Dennis accepted the role, served for many years and remains an active Richstone supporter.

During Dennis’ tenure on the board Foothill Capital became the title sponsor for the annual Richstone golf tournament at the Palos Verdes Country Club. Dennis was an active member of the Golf Committee and was recognized as the Committee’s Finest Recruiter.

Larry Bender

Larry Bender is the epitome of a dedicated Richstone volunteer. Larry began his volunteer journey at Richstone in 1985. His steady presence as a tutor at Richstone’s Kids Club has enriched the lives of children for literally decades.

One of the reasons Larry loves volunteering at Richstone is because he enjoys watching the Kids Club kids grow up. Reflecting on his experience Larry says, “at the end of the day, I always think I have received more than I have given.” The most memorable moments for Larry are when a Kids Club kid discovers something she or he is excited about and wants to learn more about the subject.

Barbara Bowman

Volunteer #1; Answered the call to help. Chaired first fundraising event.

In 1980, Barbara Bowman was invited to attend an event where Richstone’s Executive Director Dorothy Courtney spoke about the Center’s treatment program for victims of child abuse and its immediate need to secure private funding to serve its clients.  

Barbara wanted to find out more and drove from Palos Verdes to Hawthorne to attend a meeting at Richstone.  As the meeting drew to a close, Dorothy asked whether anyone in the room of 40 people had any ideas on how to raise the needed funds.  Barbara alone raised her hand. 

Barbara pitched the idea of doing a fashion show with costumes by the famous Hollywood costume designer Edith Head.  Barbara had a contact and she would reach out.  The contact came through and Barbara chaired Richstone’s inaugural fundraising event with Edith Head herself introducing the famous costumes modeled by Richstone volunteers.  The event was a success raising over $30,000 and enabled Richstone to keep its doors open.  

Barbara continued to raise her hand time after time for Richstone. In the 1980’s Barbara Chaired or Co-Chaired a series of successful fundraising events including, Celebrate the Fifties: Summer Love Premiere Event, and the Razzle Dazzle Round-up.  Barbara has served Richstone in many capacities over the years including as a Board member. It will be no surprise that she has raised her hand again to serve on the 50th Anniversary Gala Committee.  She looks forward to seeing you there. 

Anita Bronstein

Anita Bronstein and her beloved support dogs have been regular volunteers at Richstone since 2007. When Anita brought her dog Kosmo to Richstone for the first time, she saw what an incredible impact his presence had on the children and families supported by Richstone. When he passed six years later, she knew she had to continue so at 10 weeks old Griffin began his work bringing smiles and comfort to everyone at the organization.

When Anita first began bringing Griffin, there was one student who was terrified of dogs and would shy away and sometimes scream whenever he was near her. But every week he came and would attempt to "say HI" in the way dogs do. One day years later she watched as she willingly embraced Griffin in a huge hug; her guard no longer a barrier. Seeing that transformation is something Anita will never forget.

Peggy Busto

After raising her children, Peggy Busto enrolled in graduate school to pursue a career in counseling. Peggy received her graduate degree from Loyola Marymount University in 1975, completed her clinical hours and opened a private practice as a Marriage and Family Counselor in 1977. Peggy first got involved with Richstone in the early 1980’s through her neighbor Barbara Bowman. Peggy attended many of the early fundraising events. In 1994, Peggy was recruited to bring her clinical expertise to the Board. Over her 20 years on the Board, she served as secretary, Vice President and a three-year term as the Chair. After she moved to Orange County, Peggy remained committed, despite the long commute to meetings because of “the good work” Richstone did and because “we made a difference in peoples’ lives.” Peggy has only recently retired from private practice and remains a committed Richstone supporter.

Jen Caskey

Jennifer Caskey grew up in Manhattan Beach. After attending USC, she settled in her hometown where raised her three sons and rose to the top of her industry as a Realtor. For three decades Jen had been a leading Realtor in the South Bay. She is the founder of the Jen Caskey Group.

Throughout this time, Jen has been a committed Richstone supporter and champion. Jen has consistently brought her infectious energy and joy to each project and event that she has been involved with and she brings in her friends and colleagues. This willingness to introduce new people to Richstone and its mission, that Jen personifies, has been critical to Richstone’s success over the decades.

Paul and Kay Conrad

Kay Conrad stepped up to host one of Dorothy Courtney’s first meet and greets to introduce people to Richstone in1980. Kay invited her friend Barbara Bowman to attend. Barbara would go on to Chair Richstone’s first fundraising event, the 1981 Edith Head fashion show. Kay’s husband, Paul Conrad, the Los Angeles Times Pulitzer prize-winning political cartoonist, and Dorothy’s husband Bob served as the auctioneers for this inaugural event.

Paul and Kay, along with Don & Danese Maldonado and Barbara Saltzman, were instrumental in securing Los Angeles Times support for Richstone throughout the 1980s. In 1983 the LA Times produced the first of many multi-page supplements featuring articles and photos about Richstone raising awareness to the issue of child abuse and the need for treatment and prevention and elevating Richstone’s profile in the community.  

Over the years, Paul generously put his pen to paper to create original drawings for events including the 1st Carita’s dinner honoring Jim Murray in 1992 and Dororthy’s retirement in 2004. The Conrads provided support in many ways, including hosting an event at their home featuring an auction of art and cartoons by Paul and other notable cartoonists.  

Roberta Coppersmith

Roberta Coppersmith has been volunteering as a tutor at Richstone’s Kids Club since 2011. Roberta finds the volunteer work a rewarding experience because “the children do not have entitlement issues and the gratitude and joy they feel is so obvious on their faces.” Knowing she might change a life in a positive way is her way of “paying it forward.”

Roberta’s most memorable Richstone moment was going to the zoo with the children on a field trip. The child she was working with had a goal of being a zookeeper one day. He struggled with dyslexia and loved to read and learn about animals. Roberta learned he had never been to the zoo, so Roberta worked with Richstone to plan a trip to the zoo. It was a special day for him and the other children. Roberta’s husband Jeff joined the outing and together they share some cherished memories of the kids.

Roberta and Jeff have also paid it forward by organizing Walkathon Teams and attending Richstone’s annual galas.

Dorothy Courtney

Transformational Leader; Executive Director for 24 years, positioned Richstone for growth and permanence.

Dorothy Courtney spotted a classified ad in the paper for the Executive Director Role. While she had volunteered with organizations that addressed domestic violence and child abuse, she had no direct experience managing a non-profit. Undaunted, she applied for the job. At the interview, Board President Dr. Sanders asked why Richstone should hire her. Dorothy, knowing the challenges, replied, “Because you need me.” The Board took a chance that paid off for Richstone and its clients.

Dorothy led Richstone as the Executive Director for 24 years. Over that time, the programs, services, staff, and budget expanded and evolved to address the client’s needs.  Successful capital campaigns in 1984 and 1993 led to the acquisition of the original property, the adjacent lot, and the building of an expanded facility.  

Dorothy’s legacy includes the development of lasting community relationships and the recruitment of hundreds of volunteers serving as Board members, fundraisers, supporters, on-site volunteers, and advocates for Richstone and the prevention and treatment of child abuse. These legions of volunteers include Dorothy’s husband, Bob, their children Colleen Cole, Jake Courtney, Mary Burke and Erin Courtney and each of their families.   Dorothy remains actively involved and is serving as the honorary chair of the 50th Anniversary campaign.

Richard and Janie Crane

Richard P. and Janie Crane have logged over 40 years as Richstone volunteers.  Janie served on the Event Committee for Caritas Award dinners in the 1990s and joined the Board of Directors in 1994.  Meanwhile, Richard created and led the popular and successful golf tournament “The Bubsy” (based on Bob Courtney’s nickname) held annually at El Dorado in Reno Nevada. 

In 1996 the Cranes established The Todd Maxfield Crane Endowment in memory of their son who overcame obstacles and developed into an outstanding, caring young man, college student and a member of the US Mountain Rescue Team. These funds help the children at Richstone to overcome obstacles in their lives.  The Crane’s generosity has continued through today including serving on Richstone’s 50th Anniversary Honorary Committee. 

Mike D'Errico

Mike D’Errico was introduced to Richstone through Jay and Colleen Cole. Mike and Jay worked together for many years in a tech company in Santa Barbara. Colleen Cole is the oldest of Dorothy Courtney’s four children and had been involved with Richstone since 1980.

Mike represents the type of supporter that has enabled Richstone to continue to provide services to children and families for 5 decades. The story is a simple one. When Mike was asked to help, he said yes. His “yes” came in through a particular time of need that allowed Richstone to weather challenging times. Dorothy Courtney says, “I am forever grateful for what Mike provided to the children of Richstone.”

Theresa Dawson

Theresa Dawson began as a Richstone volunteer with her daughter through the National Charities League over 15 years ago. Even after her daughter graduated, Theresa has remained an active Kids Club volunteer.

Theresa developed the Peer Leadership and Partners in Philanthropy Programs with Cheryl Shojinaga. The Philanthropy program engages the Kids Club kids in volunteer activities to give back to the community. Theresa believes “actively engaging youth and their families in leadership and community service helps them to understand they are important and empowers them to change their communities.”

One of her most memorable moments has been watching families work together as teams to make lunches for those experiencing homelessness and watching Richstone teens work side by side with Cal State Long Beach student engineers from Engineers for a Sustainable World to construct rain barrels for the center.

The Dibble Family

Terry Dibble joined the Richstone Board in 1987. Terry served several terms as Treasurer and on the Executive Committee of the Board, and in the 1990’s served a three year term as President. Terry, his wife Eva and their family have been committed Richstone supporters for over three decades.

It is a testament to Richstone, that so many of its volunteers support the center over decades, flexing into different roles as their family and work obligations change. In 2001 when his work at KMPG took him to NYC Terry transitioned to an emeritus role on the Board. Upon retirement and permanent return to the Los Angeles area, he re-joined the Board as an active member including a return to the role of Treasurer.

Terry’s commitment to addressing child abuse and domestic violence is also demonstrated by his work with JB and Emily Van Nuys Charities. The JB and Emily Van Nuys Charities grants approximately $1.1 Million annually to public charities in Los Angeles County, with a focus on Children and Families and, more particularly, Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Eric and Lisa Eisner

Eric Eisner had been president of the David Geffen Company. When the company was sold, Eric retired. Soon after he met Dorothy Courtney of the Richstone Family Center who inspired him to apply his passion for education to help kids with few resources. Tutoring in the Richstone After School program did not work with his schedule due to his commitment to being home with his two children in the afternoons. Through Richstone, Eric began to work with academically gifted kids at Lennox Middle School in Lennox, CA. As he worked with the students, identified many who could excel in LA’s most competitive schools.

In 1999 Eric began what was destined to become YES. YES provides scholarships and support to students to attend LA independent schools. Many Richstone’s kids have become YES Scholars. Over time, he expanded his efforts, working with students from middle schools across Los Angeles, helping them gain access to education opportunities usually reserved for their more privileged peers.

In 2010, YES became a stand-alone non-profit, expanding nationwide to include cohorts in New York, Chicago, and rural Appalachian North Carolina. In addition to educational enrichment, YES now provides far-reaching financial and social support to YES scholars around the country.

Talia and Paul Frederick

Talia and Paul Frederick’s support of Richstone has taken many forms, including raising awareness, and recruiting volunteers. In recognition of their commitment Talia and Paul were honored at the Richstone Gala in 2020.

Talia had been involved with Richstone for many years alongside her mother and stepfather RL and Dave Peters. Talia found becoming a mother made it even more important to her. “It triggered all the emotions of wanting to protect these kids, all of them… because all of them deserve it, to just be cared for.” Talia brought her dedication to Richstone to the Joyful Giving group including bringing in speakers to raise awareness and inspire action.

Paul's initial involvement with Richstone came mostly through his restaurant Eureka!

Then in 2004, the Richstone Golf committee had no one to run the putting contest before the tournament. Paul, an avid golfer and self-professed golf geek stepped up. He ran the contest for many years.

The Fredericks’ support for Richstone is a family endeavor. Their children Siena and Sawyer have volunteered at the Beach Party and holiday giving for the Richstone families.

They want to share the value of helping, not just to check the box, but to see the impact their efforts can make to change people’s lives.

Sadly, on July 13, 2023, Richstone and the South Bay Community lost an amazing individual when Talia passed away after battling a rare form of cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma). Talia faced her 2022 diagnosis with courage, grace, and unwavering strength. She was a remarkable person who sincerely cared for those around her and touched the lives of so many with her compassion, kind heart, and beautiful spirit. She was an inspiration to all and will truly be missed.

Dr. Allen & Charlotte Ginsburg

Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg are active and generous philanthropists supporting esteemed Los Angeles institutions including USC, UCLA, CalTech, the Long Beach Symphony and the Aquarium of the Pacific. The Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Human-Centered Computation Hall at USC's Viterbi School of Engineering will open in September. Richstone is fortunate to count itself among the organizations supported by the Ginsburgs.

The Ginsburgs have graciously donated the use of the Beach at King Harbor for Richstone’s annual Endless Summer Beach Party. The Ginsburgs were honored at the event with the Life Saver Award in 2021.

John Gogian

John Gogian was introduced to Richstone through his high school friend Al Villasenor who was a Richstone volunteer and Board member.

John founded The John Gogian Family Foundation in 1982 to further his diverse philanthropic interests including providing a positive and lasting impact in the lives of abused and neglected youth. Richstone received its first grant from the foundation in 1986 and the support continued for more than 40 years. Initially, the foundation provided financial support to Richstone to fund specific programs including the Richstone Kid’s Club, which was renamed in honor of John Gogian. In later years, the foundation shifted focus to provide funding to support Richstone’s organizational structure aimed at promoting long term success and growth.

John passed away on July 3, 2019, after celebrating his 90th birthday. In August 2021, the Foundation made a legacy grant that helped Richstone retire its mortgage. It was the single largest grant ever given by the foundation.

Maryann Carroll-Guthrie, L.C. Guthrie, Jr. and The Guthrie Family

Maryann Carroll-Guthrie and her late husband L.C. Guthrie, Jr., and the Guthrie Family have been committed volunteers and supporters of Richstone for many years. Maryann remembers her first involvement with Richstone was when the Guthrie family was asked to provide the food for the opening of the transitional living program. Maryann went on to Chair the Pier-to-Pier Walkathon for three years and to join and Chair the Richstone Board. the Guthrie Family Foundation continues to be Richstone’s most significant funder each year for the past 12 years.

The Guthrie family was the driving force putting on The Endless Summer Beach Party at the King Harbor Marina in 2014, originally envisioned as a one-time Thank You party for volunteers and donors, the event was so successful it has become an annual tradition and will celebrate its 10th Anniversary this summer.

Maryann was instrumental in developing Richstone’s proposal to The Everychild Foundation for its annual $1 million grant. Maryann recruited faculty and students at UC Berkeley's architecture school to design concept drawings for an expanded facility on Richstone’s campus. For all of the years of Maryann’s involvement, she describes the most memorable moment as when she learned that Richstone received the $1 million dollar grant from The Everychild Foundation in 2016. The grant funded wellness programs and became the seed money to kick off the capital campaign for the Everychild Foundation Healing Center completed in 2020.

Tom and Dianne Harrington

Tom and Dianne Harrington

Tom and Dianne Harrington got involved with Richstone in the early 1980’s and have supported Richstone in many capacities over the last 4 decades.

With a background in early childhood development, in the 1990s Dianne coordinated the Positive Parenting Center with Lynn Messenger and taught parenting classes funded by Beach Cities Health District.

Tom was an initial member of Men for Richstone with Jerry Mook and Tom Malone.  The group  put on early fundraising events including the first wine-tasting event and several golf tournaments. In 1994 Tom and Dianne served together on the event committee for the 1950s Prom fundraiser. 

In 1998 Tom co-chaired the annual golf tournament with Roger Van Remmen, Richstone’s future CEO and took on the chair role from 2001- 2002.  The Harrington’s support for Richstone has been a family endeavor, in 2003 their son Michael became co-chair of the golf tournament with Bob Courtney’s son Jake.

Howard Higholt, M.D.

Foundational Support; acquired the land to provide Richstone a home.

Radiologist and Board member Howard Higholt and his family acquired the original property on Cordary Avenue in Hawthorne and leased the space to Richstone at a reduced rate.   In August 1979, Richstone moved into the small home on the front of the lot with an old chinchilla barn in the back. In 1981 student volunteers from the Southern California Regional Occupational Center (SCORC) renovated the barn doubling Richstone’s space and allowing for expanded services. 

The property would ultimately become Richstone’s permanent home. Following a successful capital campaign in 1984, Richstone acquired the property from Dr. Higholt. He remained a committed Richstone supporter throughout his life and he served on the board for many years.

Gary Houston

Architect Gary Houston and the team at Houston/Tyner have given much of their time to creating beautiful education, healthcare and cultural spaces for the community to enjoy. When Richstone began the design phase of the Everychild Foundation Healing Center Gary and his partner Russell Tyner saw the project as a perfect fit for Houston/Tyner’s commitment to community and children.

Gary, Russell and their team, including associates Gina Cabotaje and Michael McCormick, spent countless hours designing the facility to integrate with the existing campus, to meet the specific needs of the counselors and Richstone client and to provide a beautiful space in support of healing and wellness. Houston/Tyner generously donated the firm’s services for the project.

The project team worked with Richstone to accommodate its unique needs including when Richstone had an unexpected opportunity to accept JetBlue’s offer to donate a playground structure before the construction of the building, Gary’s team quickly pivoted to integrate the playground’s footprint and infrastructure into their design.

The Houston family was not new to supporting Richstone. Gary’s wife Ginny and their two daughters had volunteered with Richstone through the National Charities League.

Janet Jones

In 2017, Janet Jones and her sons Evan and Carter (then ages 15 and 18) founded the Single Mom Project which is affiliated with the Richstone. The alliance between Richstone and the Jones Family began when Carter was a high school freshman who created a community service project called The Sweatshirt Project. His goal was to collect new and “gently used” sweatshirts to distribute to Richstone’s clients. He ultimately gave away thousands.

The Single Mom project evolved over time into the current program that twice a year awards $1000 cash grants to deserving low-income, hard-working single mothers at Richstone to help them get on steadier financial footing. Having relied greatly on the help of others to raise her sons as a single mom, Janet always felt inspired to give back to others in the same situation. The family fundraises for the program by reaching out to friends and family members.

In the words of a recipient, Claudia V., “Yes, it was a big surprise for me and my kids. We don't have food or water, and sometimes they have no food in their stomachs. You helped me a lot. I feel happy. I don't feel stressed.”

Henry and Susie Jordan

Henry Jordan joined Foothill Capital in 1984 and served in various roles including CFO, COO and President in 1997. Under Henry’s leadership of Foothill he continued John Nickoll’s tradition of corporate and personal support of Richstone.

After the sale of the company, Henry brought Wells Fargo Capital Finance into the Richstone family. Wells Fargo has continued to support Richstone, including sponsoring the golf tournament and walk teams. In 2016 Richstone honored Well Fargo Capital Finance at The Affair of the Heart Gala held at Audi Pacific in Torrance.

Following Henry’s retirement in 2017, Henry and Susie Jordan have remained active Richstone supporters.

Sherry Kramer

Sherry Kramer is the long-serving Director of Community Relations & Marketing at Continental Development Corporation.

Sherry has been a committed Richstone volunteer for thirty years during which time she chaired two of Richstone milestone events. To celebrate Richstone’s 20th Anniversary in 1994 Sherry chaired the Affair to Remember, the first of many wine tastings sponsored by Von’s at the Manhattan Beach Country Club.

In 1999, embracing Richstone’s long legacy of community education, for its 25th Anniversary Richstone hosted a full day conference the “Voice of the Child” for professionals including educators, counselors, medical providers and law enforcement. The conference was organized by counselor Joi Neri, Sherry and fellow board member Terry Dibble. The conference closed with a 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration.

Sherry brought her commitment to children and community and her professional expertise to the Richstone Board in 1998 a role she held for many years.

Steve Lessinger

Steve Lessinger is a dedicated volunteer and Richstone supporter. After a long career in the music industry, Steve started as a once a week volunteer in the Kids Club. Steve found the work so rewarding that he increased his time to volunteer twice a week and then more. Steve finds working with the students - helping them with their homework, playing ball, and being a mentor - to be a privilege. Steve’s support of Richstone includes supporting the Kids Club Alumni Scholarship Fund.

Mary McClure

Mary McClure has volunteered on-site at Richstone from 2007. Mary has found tutoring at the Kids Club so rewarding because the “kids are grateful and need the help.” Mary’s most memorable Richstone moment has been teaching yoga to the kids. In addition to the on-site volunteering, Mary could be counted on to recruit friends to walk and contribute to her annual Richstone’s Pier-to-Pier Walkathon Team.

Ty Mellinger

Ty Mellinger had an early start to his involvement with Richstone. As a small child he participated in events with his parents such as the Pier-to-Pier Walkathon. Later he volunteered at the Beach Party both as a server and as a member of the band for the event.

Today Ty is a volunteer in the Richstone Kids Club. He works as a tutor and as a sports instructor including basketball. One of the kids he worked with had never scored a basket in all of the basketball games Ty ran over a 2 year period. Then one day, after Ty gave her advice and started a chant with the other kids, she finally made a basket. She was ecstatic. Ty reflects, “through working with Richstone I have been able to grow my own empathy for others” and he has developed a passion for youth/social advocacy.

Donne Moen

Donne Moen was Vice-Chairman, Director of Union Bank when he joined the board of Richstone in 1983. He rose early to balance his work schedule with his Richstone commitments, including as Chair of the Capital Campaign. Donne and Executive Director Dorothy Courtney held their regular meetings at 6 a.m. at The Kettle in Manhattan Beach.

Donne was instrumental in the Capital Campaigns that raised the funds to purchase the lot next to the original Richstone location from the Moser family and to build the Jim Murray building which was dedicated in 1994.

Maureen and Stanley Moore

As the parents of four children and the grandparents of five more - all proud South Bay residents - Maureen and Stanley Moore have provided consistent support for the Richstone Family Center over the course of 40 of Richstone’s 50 years. Longtime champions of California-based philanthropic organizations, the Moores epitomize the dedicated, behind-the-scenes contributors who have enabled Richstone to provide the trauma-focused therapy, parenting and anger management classes, support groups and other services that are its hallmark. And no one surpasses the Moores’ unbridled fandom for Dorothy and Bob Courtney!

Jim Murray

Bob and Dorothy Courtney met Jim Murray, the Los Angeles Times Pulitzer Prize winning Sports columnist, and Linda McCoy, Jim’s future wife, at a Superbowl in the early 1990s. Linda came to Richstone to find out more about the center. In 1992 Jim was the honoree at Richstone’s First Annual Caritas Award dinner chaired by Linda.

Jim and Linda became active Richstone supporters. Jim introduced Richstone to a series of sports luminaries who agreed to be honored at the subsequent Caritas Award dinners including: Vin Scully, Mario Andretti, Chick Hearn, Chris McCarron and Arnold Palmer. Linda chaired each of the events. On May 14,1994 at the dedication ceremony of Richstone’s new building Vin Scully surprised Jim Murray with the announcement that the building will be named after him. At the same ceremony Jim Murray unveiled the Vin Scully Walk. Jim quipped "My only question is why it is called the 'Vin Scully Walk' and not the 'Vin Scully Home Run.'”

John Nickoll

John Nickoll was the President of Foothill Capital in the mid-1990s when Dorothy Courtney made a United Way presentation to the Foothill staff about Richstone. John found Richstone’s mission compelling and he soon launched a decades-long personal and corporate commitment to Richstone.

John asked how he could help. The first ask: Identify an individual to join the Board and serve as Treasurer. John recommended Foothill Capital Vice President Dennis Ascher. Dennis accepted the role, served for many years and remains an active Richstone supporter.

In 1998 Foothill Capital became the title sponsor for the annual Richstone golf tournament at the Palos Verdes Country Club. Foothill’s active leadership resulted in sold out events. Foothill Capital employees also volunteered at on-site improvement projects and formed an award winning Pier-to-Pier Walkathon team.

The relationship introduced Richstone to a succession of dedicated supporters including Henry Jordan and Tricia McLaughlin who served on the Richstone Board. When Foothill Capital was sold, Wells Fargo continued to support Richstone, including sponsoring the golf tournament and walk teams. The tradition of service has continued as Stephen Schwartz, Wells Fargo’s Head of Underwriting & Portfolio Management/EVP currently serves on the Richstone Board as Treasurer.

Pat Patman

Pat Patman has supported Richstone in many capacities over many years. Pat Co-Chaired the Don Klosterman Annual Golf Classic with his wife Vickie in the early 1990s and joined the Richstone Board in 1993. Through his meat distributor business, Pat could always be counted on to donate hamburgers and hot dogs for events with the kids at Richstone.

In more recent years, Pat had a personal connection at a foundation that Richstone was looking to approach for funding. Pat took the time to introduce Roger Van Remmen and Richstone to his contact. The personal connection made the difference and led to generous funding for Richstone from the foundation.

Dave & RL Peters and Family

Dave and RL Peters have been involved with Richstone for over 3 decades. Dave first joined the Richstone Board in 1994 and is currently the Board’s 1st Vice-Chair and a member of the Executive Committee. Dave brings to the Board not only his business background but also his extensive non-profit board experience, including as the Chair of the California Community Foundation.

RL has been a long-committed member of the Affair of the Heart Gala Committee including as a key member of the decor team with Barbara Van Remmen, Lynn Wolf and Debbie Holden which has consistently created stunning settings for the annual event.

Dave and RL’s generous support of Richstone includes recruiting family and friends into the Richstone family to help the center grow and build a sustainable future.

Jan & Chet Pipkin

Jan & Chet Pipkin and Richstone share a commitment to education. The Pipkins have been longtime supporters of Richstone. In recent years they have worked with Richstone to support and develop a program that will not only provide training opportunities to Richstone’s clinical staff but also to the broader community of professionals working to treat victims of child abuse and domestic violence. The program launched as The Dorothy Courtney Institute has already brought leaders in the field to educate clinicians and elevate the quality of care that Richstone provides.

The Institute builds on Richstone’s history of promoting community education for professionals, educators and parents by hosting trainings, conferences and min-conferences on child abuse treatment and prevention throughout the South Bay. In celebration of its 25th Anniversary, Richstone hosted a full day conference the “Voice of the Child” for professionals including educators, counselors, medical providers and law enforcement. The Institute will enable Richstone to take this legacy to the next level.

Bea Richstone

Founder; provided original seed money to create The Richstone Family Center

In 1974 when pediatricians Dr. R. Wyman Sanders and Dr. James Apthorp, were invited to meet with the parents in a Parents Anonymous (PA) group they identified a need. No therapy was being provided to the children who were victims of abuse. Dr. Sanders approached Bea Richstone and asked for help. She provided $6,000 seed money. The Richstone Family Center, named in her honor, was established with the mission of providing counseling for children and their families in a holistic approach. Bea Richstone served as a founding member of the board and served for many years.

Helen Ristani

Helen Ristani was an early supporter of Richstone and has continued this support over four decades.  Helen, a Manhattan Beach businesswoman, has always been ready and willing to help with whatever was needed. She has consistently and generously supported Richstone’s many fundraising events including volunteering on The Affair of the Heart committee and participating in the annual golf tournaments and Pier-to-Pier Walk-a-thon.  Helen embodies the community’s commitment to the well-being of children which has kept Richstone’s doors open for 50 years.

R. Wyman Sanders, M.D.

Visionary; identified the need for counseling for abused children and families, founded Richstone Family Center

In 1974 when pediatricians Dr. R. Wyman Sanders and Dr. James Apthorp, were invited to meet with the parents in a Parents Anonymous (PA) group they identified a need. No therapy was being provided to the children who were victims of abuse. Dr. Sanders approached Bea Richstone and asked for help. She provided $6,000 seed money. The Richstone Family Center, named in her honor, was established with the mission of providing counseling for children and their families in a holistic approach. 

By mid 1980 Dr. Sanders was faced with the upcoming end of the government funding. Richstone sought to transition its model and to seek private funding from organizations, foundations, corporations, and individuals.  With no established donor base, it was a difficult task and they searched for a new Executive Director. 

Dorothy Courtney spotted the classified ad in the paper. While she had volunteered with organizations that addressed domestic violence and child abuse, she had no direct experience managing a non-profit. At the interview, Board President Dr. Sanders asked why Richstone should hire her. Dorothy, knowing the challenges, replied “Because you need me.” Dr. Sanders and the Board took a chance that paid off for Richstone and its clients.  

Wyman continued to serve on the Richstone Board, including as President for 6 years and as a dedicated supporter until his recent death on March 26, 2023. As his family wrote in his obituary “…he was most proud of his work with The Richstone Family Center – a place helping families to be resilient, safe, and to grow and thrive.”

Vin Scully

Dodger Sportscaster Vin Scully was approached by Jim Murray to be the honoree for Richstone’s annual dinner. Before committing, Vin wanted to learn more about Richstone and to meet Richstone’s Executive Director Dorothy Courtney. He invited Dorothy and her husband Bob to game night at his home to play Balderdash – Dorothy won the game and won over Vin to Richstone and its mission. Vin was honored at the 2nd Annual Caritas Award Dinner, chaired by Linda McCoy.

Following the event Vin remained involved with Richstone. At the dedication of Richstone’s new facility in 1994, Vin surprised Jim Murray with the announcement that the building would be named after him. At the same ceremony Jim unveiled the Vin Scully Walk and quipped "My only question is why it is called the 'Vin Scully Walk' and not the 'Vin Scully Home Run.'"

In 1998 Vin lent his voice talent to narrate a video about Richstone. In the video Vin recounts the story of a young girl treated at Richstone who showed her counselor her pain by drawing heart, cutting it out and ripping it to pieces. A year later the girl asked the counselor for the pieces of her heart. The girl assembled the pieces, taped them back together and told the counselor “My heart was broken. You mended it.” The image of the mended heart and the message is the basis of Richstone’s logo today.

The Shojinaga Fukunaga Family

For Cheryl Shojinaga and John Fukunaga, supporting Richstone is a family endeavor. Cheryl and their two daughters Jenny and Emma Fukunaga volunteered with the Kids Club through the National Charities League. Jenny and Emma both went on to earn Girl Scout Gold Awards for projects they did for the Richstone Kids Club. Jenny created a gardening program and Emma developed a STEM curriculum.

As their daughters left for college, Cheryl remained a committed volunteer developing the Peer Leadership and Partners in Philanthropy Programs with Theresa Dawson. The Philanthropy program engages the Kids Club kids in volunteer activities to give back to the community.

Each year, you could count on John to be at this post registering participants at the Pier-to-Pier Walkathon or raising his paddle to bid at the auction to send the Richstone kids to the UCLA football game or other adventures.

After college, Jenny stepped up the family game for Richstone, by joining the Richstone staff full-time as the Development and Outreach Coordinator until she headed to graduate school.

Karen Sidney

Karen Sidney was introduced to Richstone by Helen Ristani. In 2000, they played in the Golf Tournament and the next year Helen invited Karen to the Affair of the Heart event. After seeing the video about mending a child's heart and hearing Dorothy Courtney speak, Karen knew this was an organization she wanted to get involved with.

For over twenty years, Karen has volunteered with the Kids Club. She taught art projects, tutored kids, and helped several kids learn to read. It has been particularly rewarding for Karen to see some of the kids that she worked with when she first started volunteering now graduating from college.

Karen served on the Richstone Board for 9 years and Chaired the Pier-to-Pier Walkathon for several years. One specific highlight for Karen was, “before the start of the Walkathon, the Richstone Kids sang a song with songwriter Jerry Fuller. Looking up Manhattan Beach Blvd. and seeing over a thousand people including 20 school teams, corporate teams, and community teams all present to make a difference for at-risk and abused children in our community, my heart was overflowing with gratitude and joy.”

Sherilyn Smith

Sheralyn Smith was a dedicated educator. Sheralyn taught English and Drama at Mira Costa High School for 20 years then worked as a counselor at Redondo Union High School. While she was earning her PhD at UCLA, in 1993 Sheralyn brought her talents to the Richstone Board. After completing her PhD, she accepted the job as Principal Eisenhower High School in Rialto. In order to balance her work and family commitments, she stepped down from the Board.

In 2001 with her youngest in college and she became Assistant Superintendent of the El Segundo School District she rejoined the Board. In that year, she stepped up to chair the Affair of the Heart event. Sheralyn led that event with trademark creativity and energy.

Sheralyn’s family continues her commitment to the community and to Richstone. Sheralyn’s daughter Ashley Smith Becker, a member of the El Segundo Little League and arranged to bring the Little League World Series winning team to the Richstone Kid’s Club in November 2023. Ashley and her sister Julia Ritchie honored their mother and joined Richstone supporters at the Breakfast of Champions 50th Anniversary Kick Off at the Center.

Chuck Stain

Chuck Stain is a champion of Richstone. Chuck and his colleagues at One10 marketing have been generous with their time and have brought their expertise in event management to elevate Richstone’s Affair of the Heart Galas to new levels. Chuck has also boosted the fundraising revenue at the Galas by securing fabulous travel packages for the auction.

Chuck considers the ability to contribute is privileged. For his commitment and support of Richstone, Chuck was an honoree at the Gala in 2018.

Elaine Struhl, M.A.

Healer; Set the standard for excellence as Clinical Director for 18 years.

Elaine Struhl worked as one of the original counselors at the Manhattan Beach location and shortly thereafter became the Clinic Director. Elaine led the professional staff for 18 years until her retirement in 1995.  

Dorothy Courtney described Elaine as “steady as a rock in focusing on the needs of the children and their parents and with a heart unfettered by bias. She reviewed, assigned, and followed each case with a surgeon’s discipline and skill. Her personal standard of excellence has permeated Richstone’s fabric and challenged each of us to reach for a higher level of performance.”

Mike & Robin Sullivan and Family

Mike and Robin Sullivan and their family have repeatedly and graciously opened their doors to Richstone – literally. The Sullivans have made their LAcarGuy locations available for the Richstone Affair of the Heart Gala’s for over a decade. Over this time the event has been put on at Lexus Santa Monica, Audi Pacific dealership in Torrance and for the last six years at the South Bay Porsche.

Each year the Sullivan family and dealership staff have spent hours coordinating with the Gala Committee in advance of the event, not to mention on the task of emptying the dealership floor to allow it to be transformed by the magical decor committee led by Barbara Van Remmen.

The Sullivans' commitment and support of Richstone extend far beyond hosting the Gala. It is through the dedication of people like the Sullivans that Richstone has been able to help thousands of abused and at-risk children and families in our communities.

Ann and Jerry Thomas

Jerry and Ann Thomas and their company Charles E. Thomas have been active Richstone supporters for decades. CET is a 3rd generation full service general engineering contractor that provides trusted service and construction for major oil companies, and retail, industrial and commercial Industries.

Employees at CET took an innovative approach for their annual Richstone Pier-to-Pier Walkathon team holding fundraisers throughout the year leading up to the event resulting in many top Company Team awards. Jerry and Ann were honored for their dedication at the annual Richstone Gala in 2011.

After Richstone was awarded the transformative Everychild Foundation grant in 2016 and plans were prepared, Richstone engaged in a competitive bid process for a building contractor. CET submitted a bid and ultimately emerged as the successful candidate. CET became Richstone’s trusted partner which led to completing the Everychild Foundation Healing Center in 2020.

Al Villasenor

Al Villasenor was introduced to Richstone in 1984 by his friend and counselor Joi Neri.  Spanish speaking volunteers were needed to help with child care when parents attended parenting classes.  Joi asked Al to help and he signed up.  Al saw the program needed sports equipment and games; Al donated them.  It was just the start to his decades of service to Richstone.

Al joined the Board of Directors in 1985 serving as Board President from 1991-1994.  In that role, he led the 1993-1994 capital campaign and the completion of the Jim Murray Building.  As Al’s family wrote when he passed away in 2018, “throughout his years of service Al had made Richstone first in his heart, always bringing new people and new resources to contribute to Richstone’s efforts to heal children and their families.”

His legacy of generosity to Richstone lives on through his children who continue to support Richstone today. 

Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson has more than 25 years of experience growing and streamlining business operations as the President of J.E. DeWitt, Inc. After successfully selling the business, Mary pursued other business ventures in the residential real estate space. Mary brought her business and leadership acumen to the Richstone Board in 2019.

Commitment and support from volunteers like Mary have enabled Richstone to provide services to more than 3,400 children and families in high-need areas throughout the South Bay last year. Having access to mental health and support services has been particularly critical for our client base, which was disproportionately impacted by the traumas of the pandemic.

Larry & Lynn Wolf and Family

Larry and Lynn Wolf and their family have been committed Richstone supporters for over 20 years. Larry joined the Richstone Board in 2001.

Lynn has long been active on the Affair of the Heart Gala committee. Lynn along with Barbara Van Remmen, RL Peters and Debbie Holden form the core of the unstoppable decor team which have brought Gala attendees stunning thematic decorations for the annual event. Larry and Lynn were honored for their service to Richstone at the Gala in 2015.

Lynn and Larry’s commitment to Richstone did not wane even when Larry suffered paralysis as a result of West Nile disease. Larry continues to embrace life despite physical limitations. Larry’s mind and heart are as active and generous as ever.

John & Jan Zar

John and Jan Zar were first introduced to Richstone by Roger and Barbara Van Remmen and have been supporters of Richstone for over 30 years.

In addition to supporting Richstone. Jan and John are active community members. Jan is a part President of Sandpipers. Established in 1931, Sandpipers is a 100% volunteer organization dedicated to serving the needs of the South Bay community through charitable and philanthropic programs. Sandpipers has been a core source of volunteers and support of Richstone for generations. John is a board member of Meredith Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach and a founder of the McCallum Theater and Cultural Arts Center in Palm Desert.

John and Jan have been compassionate and generous supporters of Richstone and have recruited family and friends to join in the support of the needs of children who have been victims of abuse. John and Jan were honored for their service to Richstone at the 2012 Affair of the Heart Gala.

All Staff

In 1974 Richstone started with a staff of six. Today the staff numbers more than 50.

Richstone’s clinical staff are committed to their clients, providing the caring and professional care to address each individual's trauma and to support their path to health and resilience. The staff is also committed to continuous education and professional development.

Richstone’s commitment to holistic treatment of the individual and family requires significant funding above and beyond government contracts and grants. Most government funds are approved for specific purposes, for example, who is covered and how many sessions will be provided. Such funding is a critical component of Richstone's ability to treat and serve its clients. However, not all client’s fit into a covered group and many client’s trauma cannot be fully addressed with a finite number of sessions.

Our Story Started in 1974

Richstone Family Center founded at the Hawthorne YMCA by Dr. Wyman Sanders using $6,000 in seed money from Bea Richstone.
While serving seven families, including 17 children, the staff four teachers and educational therapists moves in to a rented space at Manhattan Heights Elementary School. Services included pre-school classes, mother-infant-toddler group, and parenting skills. State of California awards Richstone a grant as one of the first six child abuse treatment and prevention programs in the state — this enabled Richstone to become a comprehensive agency providing services to approximately 70 families a year.
Richstone moves into Hawthorne house on Cordary Avenue.
Richstone recognized as a neighborhood family center by ICAN (Los Angeles County Inter-agency Council on child Abuse and Neglect as programs expand to include individual and family therapy, 24-hour crisis hotline, and 24-hour nursery. Dorothy Courtney hired as Executive Director.
Edith Head Fashion Show, chaired by Barbara Bowman, raises $30,000 to support Richstone’s expanding programs.
Now funded by individuals, organizations, industry, and United Way, Richstone continues to expand as they serve more than 100 families.
Richstone’s Facility dedicated
Transitional Living program for young women emancipated from foster care launches
Grand Opening of the Everychild Foundation Healing Center
Richstone Family Center celebrates 50 years of serving this community.

We couldn't have done it without our Heart Menders. Thank you for 50 great years!