Thanks to everyone who joined us Wednesday, April 11, for our 2018 Champions for Children fundraising breakfast. It was for us – and we hope, you – a morning of discovery, inspiration, and appreciation.
Nearly 500 business and community leaders joined staff, friends, and clients for the breakfast at the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center. Following some networking and coffee, guests were treated to a short performance by members of the Atherton High School choir.
The music was beautiful and a wonderful prelude to the powerful program.
Lindsay Allen, anchor for WDRB-TV, who emceed the breakfast for the second year, drew raves from attendees, and thanks from staff, for not only leading the event, but also helping tell the importance of protecting children through her on-air role.
Pam Darnall, president and CEO of Family & Children’s Place, welcomed guests and shared that this is the 135-year anniversary of the agency, recounting its work from humble beginnings, with a budget of just over $2,000, to today, with a budget exceeding $6 million and helping more than 6,000 children and family members annually.
Special guests at the breakfast included Erin Mitchell, policy advisor for First Lady Glenna Bevin, who sent best wishes but was unable to attend; Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad; Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell; Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine; Metro Council President David James and executive assistant Genevieve First, along with council member Angela Leet.
Also attending were Ashley Christiansen, state director, counsel for Marsy’s Law for Kentucky, and clients from the agency’s HANDS program, who were featured in an awesome video.
Adrianne Morse, who last year put together a Mother/Son dance to benefit Family & Children’s Place, inspired guests with her story – of overcoming abuse and living a happy, full life. She shared how help from Family & Children’s Place gave her hope, strength, and determination, and how she is raising her son, along with her husband, to have good manners, be respectful – of the importance of being “a good man.”
Adrianne also suggested a new hashtag — #WhatAboutUs – to represent the children who afraid to speak, or still finding their voice. So going forward, we have to be their voice, we have to speak up for them, she says, using #WhatAboutUs.
Dwight Maddox, a board member for the agency and Kosair Charities, announced that two donors had generously contributed $15,000, and asked the gifts to be matched. Maddox also announced that Kosair Charities had contributed another $10,000, raising the match to $25,000.
He challenged guests not only to meet the match, but also to double it – to raise $50,000 on top of the donated $25,000, for a total of $75,000.
In the end the Champions for Children breakfast was one of the most successful fundraising events ever for the agency, and there aren’t words enough to express appreciation for guests’ attendance, support, and generosity.