Childhelp, one of the oldest and largest nonprofits that advocate for abused and neglected children in the country, raised a record-breaking $6.5 million at their annual Drive the Dream Gala in May.
“We are honored, grateful, and blown away to have the support of so many as we come together to help children in our state find hope and healing,” Childhelp Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO Sara O’Meara said.
This year’s theme was “Don’t Let Their Dreams Be Just Dreams.” Event chairs Ivy Ciolli and Tracy Katz chose the theme to honor childlike wonder and raise awareness of child abuse and neglect.
“So many abused and neglected children have been stripped of their ability to dream and aspire for a brighter future,” Childhelp Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman and President Yvonne Fedderson said. “At the Drive the Dream Gala, the generosity and hearts of our amazing supporters, volunteers, and sponsors were on full display. Their gifts aid us in our mission to restore those dreams and help children realize that they can be anything they want to be.”
More than 600 guests attended the 17th annual gala at the Arizona Biltmore, including Governor Doug Ducey and former Vice President Dan Quayle. Actress Melissa Peterman was the emcee for the fourth time, and musicians Josh Groban and Flo Rida each performed.
During the gala, bestselling author and philanthropist Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson was presented with Childhelp’s Woman of the World award. In addition, philanthropist and prominent investor Foster Friess received the first-ever Man of the World award. These awards are given to those whose exceptional work has benefited not only the organization, but the community as a whole.
The Nellie Jackson Award, named after the co-founder and matriarch of the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction, went to SportTruckRV in Chandler, which was recognized for its significant fundraising efforts for Childhelp.
For more than 62 years, Childhelp has served 11 million children nationwide. The money raised will support lifesaving services for at-risk children across the Valley.
Drive the dream 2022
What: Childhelp’s Drive the Dream Gala
When: February 12, 2022
Where: The Phoenician, 6000 E. Camelback Road.
This year’s chairs: Mike and Sheila Ingram