This article was written by our friends at RaiseAChild.US.
Sunday, May 1 marked the beginning of National Foster Care month. To kick off the month, RaiseAChild held their 4th annual HONORS gala and fundraiser at The Jim Henson Company lot in Los Angeles to pay tribute to individuals and families for their advocacy for fostering and adoption and raise awareness for the needs of the 35,000 children in Los Angeles County foster system.
The theme of this year’s event was RaiseAChild | MakeAHome. For the first time, RaiseAChild partnered with some of the country’s best interior designers and home furnishings resources to showcase several displays of designer home environments and gave families a chance to win their own professionally designed room and furnishings.
Creative and stunning showrooms by Elsie Green, Vaughan Benz, Roxy Sowlaty, and Charmean Neithart Interiors were designed with families in mind to show how they can create a warm and welcoming environment for children.
Honorees at this year’s event included Deputy Sheriff (Ret.) Gina Barker-Foster and Sergeant Dana Michele Foster for their outstanding commitment to keeping the children of San Bernardino County safe and building their family through fostering and adoption.
The afternoon ceremony continued by recognizing longtime television broadcast news producer Kimberly Cornell with KTLA 5 where she received the Outstanding Achievement in the Portrayal of All Families award for her passion and commitment to promoting equality and understanding.
The ceremony capped off with a special recognition to celebrity Wellness Expert and Advocate, Jillian Michaels and partner Heidi Rhoades. The couple received the second Let Love Define Family award of the afternoon for their advocacy for foster and adoption programs. Their adopted daughter Lukensia (“Lu”) presented both of her moms with the award in a touching moment for the family and guests.
Additional celeb advocates stepped out to show their support including Jon Cryer with wife Lisa Joyner, Devious Maids star Judy Reyes, as well as actor/comedian Alec Mapa and his family. This year, guests and corporate sponsors including CBS Corporation, HBO, and New York Life, helped raise nearly $150,000 for RaiseAChild and its agency partners through ticket sales, a silent auction, and generous donations, ultimately bringing children across the country one step closer to finding safe, loving, and permanent homes.
RaiseAChild has helped Los Angeles-based agencies including Penny Lane Centers, Adoptions at Vista Del Mar, The Village Family Services, and Walden Family Services, successfully increase the certification rate of prospective parents by 23 percent, four times greater than the national estimate of just 5 percent.
RaiseAChild is the nationwide leader in the recruitment and support of LGBT and all prospective parents interested in building families through fostering and adopting to meet the needs of the 415,000 children in the foster care system. The nonprofit organization recruits, educates and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. Learn more at www.raiseachild.us or by calling (323) 417-1440.