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Volume 15, Issue 42  | May 26, 2023Subscribe

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Dear Mom, Conference returns to FOA on Saturday, April 22 

The Dear Mom, Conference, hosted by Amy Amaradio, will be held on Saturday, April 22 at Festival of the Arts.

“Our annual conference that I host in Laguna Beach will be held on April 22 at Festival of Arts again,” said Amaradio. “We anticipate 350 moms this year who attend from all over the world to find community with other moms walking on the same journey and visit our amazing community, Laguna Beach.” 

Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and the conference closes at 7:30 p.m. There will be a mingling hour from 7:30-8:30 p.m. The ticket price of $325 includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, beverages, a Dear Mom gift and pop-up shopping. Registration is now open, to register click here.

“Dear Mom is a woman’s conference for moms raising a person with Down syndrome,” Amaradio said. “It’s a one-day conference this year that we extended, adding more speakers and three meals, with vendors that are local. It’s an all-day gathering for the moms to have a day of respite and find community. We have a beautiful day planned for the moms. Dear Mom is open to all special needs moms to attend.” 

Dear mom Megan

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Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Megan Bomgaars speaks at the Dear Mom, Conference in 2022

“We’ve been so privileged to offer you many of the most influential speakers in our field,” Amaradio said. “Our focus is to bring attendees perspective and insight from not only those who’ve experienced our journey, but those that would bring us bravery and courage as we engage all of the things we face as fearless moms. We will always try to offer a resourceful angle, but most importantly we want you to know that you are loved, we are with you and we see your journey.”

Amaradio resides in Laguna Beach with her family. “I have been blessed with two beautiful and caring daughters and one son with that magical added chromosome – Alexis 23, Rocco 8 with a little extra and Gemma 5, my youngest. I have a close relationship with the Lord, in which I value highly. You can view a glance into our daily life activities on the A&E TV show “Born This Way,” Season 3 and 4. Through this show and my experiences, my heart for the Down syndrome community has led me to start the Dear Mom organization, with hopes to support moms who are walking on the same journey as me.”

Dear mom Amy Amaradio

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Amy Amaradio (in hat) in the audience at the 2022 conference

Amaradio continued, “At Dear Mom, our focus and vision is to provide spaces and events that inspire you, encourage you, and connect you with other moms along the journey with you, raising a person with Down syndrome. We’ve all been to conferences where we can receive a wealth of informational resources, the newest medical developments and the ever-changing law information. We found it was rare to enter a space that was beautiful, enriching and was designed with your deepest needs in mind. To have a moment to rest, enjoy the company of others and engage in a relationally inspired community.

“At Dear Mom, Conference we feed you, leave plenty of time to connect with other moms, hire speakers to inspire you, and offer opportunities to connect beyond the conference where our community is most active day in and day out.” 

Businesses that would like to give back to a local organization, here’s how to help. Dear Mom, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and donations are tax-deductible. (EIN - 83-090-6605).

Dear Mom is looking for event sponsors to help with the cost to put on the annual conference and seeking sponsors that will sponsor a mom that cannot afford to attend.

FOA is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO -

Lana Johnson, Editor -

Tom Johnson, Publisher -

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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