New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - June 8, 2023) - The annual Spence-Chapin Gala took place last Thursday, celebrating the theme of Embrace, and bringing together a vibrant community of more than 200 advocates, supporters, and leaders in the field of adoption and family services. The event, held at the stunning Tribeca Rooftop, was a resounding success, highlighting the organization's achievements and raising funds to further their mission.
"The Gala this year marked a historic moment for Spence-Chapin, as we continue to grow the legacy of our founders to reach more children, women, and families in need of our services," Christine Pohl, Senior Director of Development & Marketing at Spence-Chapin stated. "Now with six offices throughout the tri-state area, Granny Programs in four orphanages in South Africa and one in Colombia, and plans to continue to expand our services to those who need them most, we were overwhelmed by the support we received for this Gala as individuals truly embraced our vision for the future, and celebrated all of the families, volunteers, and individuals who make our work possible."
This year's honorees included John Knox, a passionate adoption advocate and founder of Adoption is an Option, I am that Kid, and the Opt Institute. Recognized with the Second Century Humanitarian Award, John's unwavering dedication and personal journey continue to inspire others to embrace the transformative power of adoption.
The gala also paid tribute to the legacy and visionary leadership of Clara Spence, co-founder of Spence-Chapin, and her partner, Charlotte Baker. Their legacy lives on through their descendants, many of whom were in the room that evening, and who continue to contribute to the organization's work and the field of adoption.
The Gala also premiered two powerful films. The first paid tribute to the Interim Care volunteers, who are part of a program that Spence-Chapin began in 1943 and that has provided temporary respite care to thousands of babies and children while their birth parents work with Spence-Chapin social workers on a plan for the future.
The second film introduced Spence-Chapin's newest Granny Program, which opened in Cali, Colombia in 2022. The film was introduced by veteran Granny and current Granny Coordinator of the Spence-Chapin Granny Program in South Africa, Thandi Twala, alongside Associate Director at Spence-Chapin partner organization, Johannesburg Child Welfare, Emily Teffo, both of whom were honored guests at the Gala this year and came from South Africa for the Gala and a week of training and workshops, along with other international colleagues from both Colombia and South Africa.
The Granny Program brings one-on-one care and attention to children of all ages living in orphanages by pairing each child with a caregiver "Granny," local women and men who are trained in child development and visit with their assigned children daily, helping them overcome developmental delays and reach milestones. The program currently impacts more than 200 in Colombia and South Africa, with plans to reach 600 children by the end of 2024.
The Spence-Chapin Gala serves as a critical fundraiser, supporting the organization's diverse programs and services throughout the year. From domestic and international adoption programs to comprehensive support for women facing unplanned pregnancies, community programming for the adoption community, and counseling services for all, Spence-Chapin remains dedicated to empowering individuals and strengthening families.
Spence-Chapin expresses heartfelt gratitude to all the honorees, speakers, sponsors, and over 200 attendees who made the 2023 Gala an extraordinary and meaningful event.
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