Excerpted from The Long Beach Post
By Brandon Richardson
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris said the Children’s Village is going to be a “tremendous blessing and a tremendous resource for the children and families of our community.”
Congressman Alan Lowenthal, State Sen. Lena Gonzalez, Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon also gave virtual remarks during the ceremony.
Cherese Mari Laulhere, for whom the facility is named, died years ago while abroad for a semester at sea program. In the years since, her parents, Chris and Larry, have donated money in her name to various projects and organizations to the benefit of the Long Beach community. The Laulhere family was a key donor to the Children’s Village.
“[During her travels], she was especially touched by the children of the orphanages and talked about wanting to actually have an orphanage for children someday,” Chris said of her daughter. “When we first learned about the Children’s Village, I knew in my heart that it had to be Cherese’s village so she would be able to help thousands of children every year.”