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For Immediate Release

Dec. 16, 2015

KidWorks Former CEO Ava Steaffens Honored at Annual Fundraising Luncheon

Santa Ana, Calif. – A highlight of the recent 2015 KidWorks’ Foundation for Success luncheon, held Thursday, Nov. 19 at the Doubletree Hotel, Santa Ana, was the special recognition given to former KidWorks CEO Ava Steaffens for her vision and dedication to the organization she helped to build into a powerful resource center for at-risk children, youth and families in Santa Ana.

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Left to right, KidWorks Board Chair Rachid Chamtieh, a Deloitte & Touche partner; Ava Steaffens; and David Benavides, Executive Director, KidWorks, and Santa Ana City Council member.

In 1999, Steaffens, then an attorney living in Newport Beach, became aware of KidWorks through her church and shortly thereafter decided she had to participate in the work. She left her practice to become the office manager for KidWorks. Three years later, the KidWorks Board of Directors appointed her CEO.

For more than 15 years, she led KidWorks and helped build its reputation as a strong organization with deep roots in the community. During her tenure, she grew KidWorks’ annual budget from $300,000 to $3,000,000. Most recently, she led the Building Dreams campaign to double the capacity of the organization by purchasing and refurbishing the building next to KidWorks’ Dan Donahue Center in Santa Ana.

“Thank you, Ava, for your generosity ingenuity and kind spirit,” said KidWorks Executive Director David Benavides. “We are deeply grateful for your leadership, which has made KidWorks what it is today. Your legacy will live long in the hearts of everyone you touched.”

Steaffans is now the director of Development for the Christian Community Development Association, a nationwide organization of which KidWroks is a member.

Since 2007, KidWorks’ annual Foundation for Success event has raised more than $4.3 million to fund after school programs at the KidWorks Dan Donahue Center. The Orange County Business Journal has named KidWorks’ Foundation for Success in the “Top Five Charity Luncheons in Orange County.”


 About KidWorks

Since 1993, KidWorks has helped at-risk children; youth and families in Santa Ana, California thrive in body, mind and spirit. As a 501(C)(3) nonprofit, KidWorks offers educational support, leadership and character-building programs, and health and fitness activities that begin with preschoolers and follow youth into their college years. KidWorks’ main building, the Dan Donahue Center, serves the highest number of children and offers a state-licensed preschool. In total, KidWorks operates three centers that have become safe havens in gang-heavy, high-crime and overcrowded residential areas in central Santa Ana. KidWorks serves nearly 800 children, youth and parents weekly and reaches over 4,000 community members annually. To learn more about KidWorks and to read its success stories, please visit

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