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Mothers of Children With Cancer Enjoy Rare Spa Day

Rosa Calves
Special to Eastern Group Publications

Before she sat down for her complimentary beauty consultation, Olivia Cholula, a mother of four, says she felt guilty. “I’ve never left my children,” she explained. And she wasn’t alone.

Cholula was one of dozens of Latina moms invited by the non-profit PADRES Contra el Cancer – a non-profit organization serving Latino children diagnosed with cancer and their families in the LA area. Urged by their families to enjoy the free spa event, Cholula and the other moms left their children (in good hands) to experience a vanilla-infused evening at the spa, compliments of CATALINA magazine and Colgate-Palmolive. “I’m so glad I came,” she said. Again, she wasn’t alone.

“I always wanted a beauty treatment, but I thought it was too expensive. I can’t believe I’m having one for free. This is a dream,” said one of the other Latina moms.

“All of us agreed that these moms needed a special treat, so we invited them to relax and escape for three hours during a spa getaway” explained Cathy Areu, CATALINA magazine publisher and the event’s creator. “I think it was a first for many of the women.”

As part of their “getaway,” the women also mingled with Latina celebrities, called VIP hostesses for the evening, who volunteered their time to add that extra VIP feeling to an already posh experience. The VIPs include heiress Carolina Bacardi, “The Alamo” actress Estephania LeBaron, KTLA’s Michaela Pereira, Telemundo Judge Cristina Perez, and El Rojo Vivo’s Daniela Ganoza.

“What an incredible event. I am so happy I came out and supported these moms,” says Carolina Barcardi. Perez, who is on the PADRES Contra el Cancer advisory board, agrees, summing it all up: “Everyone had a great time.”

Spa guests were also treated to gourmet hors d’ouevres from the upscale eatery Buddha’s Belly, and received free spa gifts and goodies to relive their vanilla spa experience at home. One attendee won a gift basket valued at more than $150 in gifts. “This is the first time I ever win anything,” said a happy Margarita Gonzalez.

The event’s venue, Amadeus Aveda Spa, in The Grove shopping center, helped the moms further by donating 10 percent of all proceeds the day of the spa to PADRES Contra el Cancer. “We love helping our community,” said Amadeus President Joe Wong.

CATALINA magazine is planning a spa getaway for 2005.

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