The Bonnes Meres (Good Mothers) Auxiliary of Children's Fund never ceases to amaze me.

These compassionate Bonnes Meres (and a few Bonnes Peres) are a giving arm of the Children's Fund, which makes life a little easier for San Bernardino County's abused and neglected children.

They work to help ensure that at-risk children who are abused, neglected, impoverished or abandoned receive adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care and education.

And they always give from the heart.

The auxiliary's 54th annual Holiday Auction and Luncheon on Thursday directly touches the lives of the county's at-risk children.

Nana Allen, event chairwoman, said the nonprofit's fundraising events are a team effort, a shared vision.

"The theme of our auction this year is `Fruitage' because our charity is the seed of everything that comes to fruition for some of these children," she said.

More than 260 people attended the glittering fundraiser at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, which featured the traditional silent auction, luncheon and a spirited live auction, was presided over by cooking guru, restaurateur, author and entrepreneur Martha Green.

Live auction items ranged from an evening of alfresco dining for 12 to an Angels honorary batboy or batgirl for the 2013 opening game.

The money will be presented to Children's Fund in December.

Over the years, Bonnes Meres has given $1.3 million to Children's Fund, said the auxiliary's president, Robin Bernhardt.

The Children's Fund helps provide necessities for children in need.

That translates into thousands of kids having comfort blankets, healthy snacks and clean clothes when they go to an assessment center after they've been abused.

The guest speaker, Dr. Amy Young, associate medical director of the Children's Assessment Center, did not give a watered-down version of the experiences she has had with the tragedy of child abuse.

A board-certified forensic pediatrician specializing in child abuse, Young said there are 60,000 cases of child abuse reported in the county every year.

"We have a lot of sick children in our county and they aren't sick from cancer or bacteria and viruses - they are sick from violence, abuse, physical injury and from an injured spirit," Young said. "That's the population you are serving."

There are more than 6,000 children in the county's foster-care program.

These are the kids helped by Bonnes Meres.

Good mothers take care of their own. Great mothers take care of others as well.

As Martha Rasi of Redlands said at the luncheon, "These are the children who don't have a voice."

michel.nolan@inlandnewspapers.com

909-386-3859