Help Our Children Soar
The Children’s Guardian Fund hosted more than 350 guests at the 20th Annual Helping Our Kids Soar Fall Luncheon at Michael’s on East. “This year we will explore the joys and challenges of fostering children, and what it takes to make a temporary placement feel more like a home. Children who have lost the comfort of parental support bear many scars, but they are also incredibly resilient,” said Executive Director Svetlana Kaminsky.
Board of Directors President Carol Belmont welcomed guests and thanked them for their support for the more than 1,400 children in our community that have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment and are currently in the custody of the state. “I joined this organization six years ago and became a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) child advocate because of my love for children” said Belmont. “The Children’s Guardian Fund strives to play a vital role in bringing some sense of normalcy to the life of a child that is too often filled with chaos and heartache,” said b.oard member Barry Wells, who is currently a GAL child advocate for two young girls.
A child with an advocate is much more likely to find a safe, permanent home — and a chance for a better life. An emotional and uplifting video, “Love WIthout Limits,” featured parents Nick and Kristie Freihaut who currently foster 9-year-old Victoria and 6-year-old Sandra. For Kristie, having been a foster child herself, this journey is personal. “I want the girls to feel confident and I want them to feel safe. I want them to grow up feeling secure and not take their baggage with them.“
An informative panel discussion, moderated by Tresa Zumsteg, featured Retired Major Connie Shingledecker, Judy Sharple, and Lucio Aldavera-Alvarez. Lucio, a young man who recently aged out of foster care, has had one constant in his five years in the system and that has been his GAL Judy Sharple. Lucio, who has recently started to learn the bass guitar, received a standing ovation when he showed off his skills to the audience.
Spotted showing support were Candice McElyea, Virginia Judge, Graci McGillicuddy, Wendy Cox, Kim Macaulay, Clare Murphy, The Honorable Teresa Dees, The Honorable Durand Adams, Robert and Willa Bernhard, Jasmine Candlish, Wendy Cox, Martha Edinger and Betty Ewing.
For pictures from the event visit Herald Tribune here.