Yatooma Foundation helps kids face future

Despite the pain and loneliness of losing her mother at a young age, Taneka Tate is now attending college, working at a part-time job and taking care of her children and siblings.

Tate is the 2011 Yatooma Foundation’s Bridge to the Future Award recipient.

She became a beneficiary of the Yatooma Foundation for the Kids in early 2008 when she lost her mother from complications related to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — thickening of the heart muscle, in October 2007.

At the same time, Tate had two children and another one is on the way. She moved to Michigan and obtained legal custody of her three siblings after her mother’s death.

The Yatooma Foundation primarily provided Tate with financial support bonding opportunities, including camping trips and tickets to basketball games.

“I met them four years ago when my mother passed,” Tate said. “They don’t make you feel like a charity case.”

Tate is currently attending Oakland Community College as a sophomore. She is majoring in child development.

“The foundation gave me a car so I can continue to go to work and school,” Tate said. “If anything, they help to better your life. They’re like family to me, they’re not like ordinary people.”

Other students who found themselves in turmoil, who had lost a parent and benefited from counseling and other services they received from the foundation include:

Katrina from Oxford, who lost both parents at a young age, but graduated from high school and is attending Oakland Community College, majoring in radiology.

Amanda Cergol from Pontiac, who has two very young children, currently working as a receptionist and is going to school for a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Yatooma’s Foundation will be presenting the 6th annual Champions for the Kids VIP Dinner/Auction and Golf Tournament to benefit the families served by the foundation.

Yatooma’s Foundation is tailored specifically to help children who have lost a parent.

“The children served by the Foundation hugged their parent one day and buried them the next, leaving them without defense or provision,” said Norman Yatooma, founder and president of Yatooma’s Foundation for The Kids.

“It is important to show these kids there are champions on their side to help them through the heartbreak and turn their tragedy into triumph,” he said.

The events have raised almost $2.5 million for local families.

For more information, or to learn more, sponsor, register and/or donate, visit www.forthekidsfoundation.org or call 888-987-5437. The VIP Dinner/Auction is 5 p.m., Saturday, June 18, at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. The golf tournament is Monday, June 20, at the South Course at Oakland Hills Country Club, starting with a 7 a.m. breakfast.


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