Emily Shane’s legacy continues to inspire children to achieve and accomplish their goals 

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Last week, the Emily Shane Foundation held its annual Spring Gala fundraiser, “Wings over Malibu," at Dukes Malibu. Photos by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

Emily Shane Foundation holds its annual ‘Wings Over Malibu’ event at Dukes 

“Educational equity is our mission, every child deserves the opportunity to complete middle school and high school, to have a fair chance at a bright future,” Emily Shane Foundation founder Ellen Shane said. “We’ve seen students from failing grades to passing, to A’s to B’s, we’ve seen students suffering from low self-esteem, feeling hopeless, to not believing in themselves, to knowing that they can succeed with the right help, the need for our work is advanced.” 

Last week, the Emily Shane Foundation held its annual Spring Gala fundraiser, “Wings over Malibu,” directly over the waves in the Ocean Room at Dukes Malibu. Over a dozen items were up for auction to support their Successful Educational Achievement (SEA) Program, a program that empowers underserved, disadvantaged middle schoolers at risk of academic failure by providing them with intensive and individualized academic tutoring and mentorship.

Local band Little Dume, presented an acoustic set, and members of the Malibu Middle Orchestra serenaded guests as they arrived. 

Ellen Shane welcomed guests to the auction and shared what the program has done for students.

“Ninety-seven percent of them are a minority and 80 percent of them score below proficiency in math, 77 below proficiency in reading,” Shane said. “These are the students we serve, the students need our specialized support.”

Some of the auction items included dinner certificates, European cruises, summer camp sessions, and admission passes for Disneyland in Anaheim.

Two students thanked the foundation and what the SEA Program helps.

“We are here tonight enjoying a great evening together, to help support this important mission,” Shane said. “The SEA Program isn’t just a legacy to Emily; it’s a force for good in the lives of so many students, it’s a testament to the power of compassion, the importance of community, and the potential in every child.”

The foundation honors the life of Emily Shane, who was killed walking along PCH in 2010 at age 13. The SEA program provides critical academic one-on-one tutoring and mentorship to struggling middle school students at risk of failure and solely serves those who cannot otherwise afford this necessary help outside the classroom. The program helps give these children hope, confidence, and a future. 

The foundation also held a fundraiser, “Crystallizing Success,” at Sorenity Rocks at Cross Creek last year, where dozens of donors enjoyed an evening of wine, crystal healing stations, and an opportunity to donate to the SEA Program. The foundation’s “Pass it Forward” motto encourages kindness and social consciousness as each student performs one good deed per session with their mentor/tutor. Mentors and tutors are all university students or recent graduates. Students, parents, and tutors shared their experience, and what the program has done for them.

Emily’s father, Michel Shane, has also recently produced a film, “21 Miles in Malibu,” where he exposes the dangers of the Pacific Coast Highway. 

The film will also be screened at Malibu High School on Wednesday, May 1.

Following the film screening, there will be a powerful panel discussion moderated by LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath to inform and educate students and parents about the dangers on PCH and offer tips to make driving on PCH safer for teenagers. The panelists include Sheriff’s Capt. Jenn Seetoo, California Highway Patrol Capt. Dennis Ford, Robert D. Cohen, Bridget Thompson, and Michel Shane.

The Emily Shane Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity based in Malibu and serves children across Los Angeles and Ventura counties. To learn more about the foundation, visit emilyshane.org.