Childhelp celebrates 60th anniversary with dignitaries at record-setting gala event

Childhelp, the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit advocating for abused and neglected children, raised $4.3 million in support of its mission, during its 60th anniversary Drive the Dream Gala on Saturday, Feb. 2, at The Phoenician.

The organization was launched in 1959 by actresses Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, and to date, has served more than 10.5 million children nationally.

The evening was co-chaired by Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson and Richard J. Stephenson, along with honorary chairs Gov. Doug Ducey and Angela Ducey, and Jim Hebets and Carol Hebets.

Sen. Jon Kyl and Caryll Kyl were honored with the Childhelp Diamond Jubilee Award for their leadership and important work in supporting the mission of Childhelp, and Patrick J. McGroder III was presented with the Childhelp Nellie Jackson Award for sharing Jackson’s dedication to the cause of helping vulnerable children in need, according to a press release.

More than 750 guests gathered in attendance, including Kathie Lee Gifford, Megyn Kelly, Cheryl Ladd, Connie Stevens, Chelsea Kane, John O’Hurley, Cameron Mathison, Sen. Martha McSally, Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Former Sen. Jon Kyl, and Former Sen. Matt Salmon.

“We are so grateful to and inspired by the dedicated supporters of Childhelp who joined us to celebrate our 60th Anniversary,” Childhelp Co-Founders Ms. O’Meara and Ms. Fedderson said in a prepared statement.  “The evening served as a powerful testament to the work that’s been completed, and reflected our sincere hope to continue and grow our outreach even further into the future.”

Proceeds from this year’s event will directly benefit the Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center of Arizona, which will see more than 8,000 children this year.

The celebrated actress and comedienne Melissa Peterman, best known for her role in the television comedy series Reba, served as emcee.

The Pointer Sisters entertained guests with their hits, including I’m So Excited, Jump, and Automatic, with additional performances by The Tenors, Pia Toscano, Stacey Kay, Caroline Campbell, William Joseph, and Jonathan Cullen.

Corporate sponsorship was provided by Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

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