Children Today event kicks off holidays

Rob and Chimene Armstrong

The Halloween Costume Party that helps support Children Today has become a mainstay for kicking off the holiday season in the Sun Region.

The event, which is the brainchild of Chimene and Robby Armstrong of Surfside Seal Beach, will be held again this year on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach.

The evening is always a fun time for those who like to listen and/or dance to the music of The Robby Armstrong Band. However, behind the scene is a cause that the Armstrongs have proven their commitment to for about the last decade.

Robby and Chimene Armstrong have been holding the event almost every year since it started except for one year off when Chimene was preparing to have a baby. They are committed to the cause. Children Today is a Long Beach charity that provides for the children of homeless people in the surrounding community. Chimene Armstrong, who has sat on the charity’s board of directors, and helped get it started while looking for a way for her sister, actor Cameron Diaz, to do something to contribute to a worthwhile charity.

“Chimene’s commitment to Children Today extends beyond her fiduciary responsibility as a board member,” according  to a prepared statement by Children Today. “What stands out is her hands-on approach, seen over the year in her planning and execution of fundraisers, ability to educate youth in the process, and success in recruiting family members as additional partners for an organization she loves.”

Armstrong and her sister were born and raised in Long Beach, attended local schools, and understand the prevalence of underserved populations.”

However, Chimene doesn’t do it alone.

Her husband Robby, one of the most popular and prolific local musicians and songwriters is also engaged in the fundraising efforts and awareness raising efforts on behalf of Children Today.

Together they bridge the gap between creating a fun evening for Children Today supporters with smoking rock and roll mixed with a sense of social consciousness. In addition to the Halloween Costume Party, the Armstrongs have also promoted other fundraising and awareness raising events for children Today.

Chimene spearheaded a series of three art classes for youth, resulting in the creation of artwork and greeting cards that produced $10,000 for vital Play House programs.  Of course, it was Chimene’s goal, before students were dismissed, they received an education on the issues of homelessness in  Long  Beach.

The Armstrongs said they see homelessness as a regional issue, affecting populations at every level of society.

“It is for this reason they work hard to ensure surrounding communities are engaged in Children Today’s mission. When working on our behalf, the Armstrongs insist on marketing to Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Huntington Harbor, Los Alamitos and Rossmoor,” according to Children Today.

They also insist on engaging family and friends in projects based on love and generosity.

In 2008, Chimene secured a $25,000 grant through her sister’s Begin Today for Tomorrow Foundation, an amount that resulted in the expansion of programs through the Play House North.

Chimene makes the couple’s work for Children Today a family affair. She includes her mother, Billie, and aunt, Rusty, as partners in event planning.

She also enlisted Long Beach artist Karen Wall-Garrison to donate a giant mural for the children’s play yard.

The Armstrongs held the early incarnations of the Halloween Costume Party in the Long Beach area.

However, the past few years they have brought the show back near to their Surfside, Seal Beach home. Don the Beachcomber is a refurbished venue that is within walking distance of the Armstrongs’ home.

The Armstrongs have said they like the idea of helping create a better world for many within the region within Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Oh yes, and then there is the fun of the evening as old friends and new come together to celebrate and support the cause of giving homeless children a hand up.

Tickets for the Halloween Costume Party for Children Today are $25. They may be purchased by calling Chimene Armstrong at (714) 813-3899 or at the door. Guests are encouraged to dress in Halloween costumes as there will be prizes for various costume categories.