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Help stop child abuse at Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala this February at The Phoenician

Photo of Childhelp founders and gala boosters
Attending the 2023 Kick-Off 2023 Gala from left are Mike and Sheila Ingram, Yvonne Fedderson, Sara O’Meara and Kim and Rod Cullum. (File Photos/

Childhelp: Clint Black headlines fundraising event

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Childhelp is hosting its annual Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala on Feb. 18, 2023, at The Phoenician.

The organization’s signature fundraising event draws celebrities, dignitaries and donors from across America to support Childhelp’s lifesaving programs, which have served more than 12 million children through 63 years, according to a press release.

Grammy-award winner Clint Black is the headline entertainment for the gala, which will be emceed by television personalities Melissa Peterman and Rex Linn. Other acts include Western swing great Red Steagall, Nate Nathan & The MacDaddy-os, Rosevelt Rawls, and Steve Amerson, the release states.

The Childhelp gala will include dinner, dancing and a live auction to benefit the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona, which has provided treatment, intervention and investigation services to around 150,000 child survivors of abuse and neglect since opening in 1998.

Among those honored at the gala will be “the Queen of Country” Reba McEntire, who will receive the Childhelp Woman of the World Award; Dream City Church Pastor Tommy Barnett, who will receive the Childhelp Man of the World Award; and the driving school Track Rekord will receive the Childhelp Nellie Jackson Award.

Sheila and Mike Ingram are chairing the event with co-chairs Kim and Rod Cullum, and vice chairs Carol and Jim Hebets.

The theme for the event, “Giddy Up For Kids,” speaks to the use of equine-assisted therapy at Childhelp’s residential villages for abused and neglected children and the occasional pony visitors to the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona.

Childhelp: Clint Black headlines fundraising event

“We’ve always been a bit ‘country’ at Childhelp,” explained Childhelp co-founder and CEO Sara O’Meara about the night’s theme.

“In the early days, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were two of our biggest supporters, and our villages in California and Virginia are situated in idyllic country spaces, with horses, donkeys and other animals becoming a part of the children’s lives.”

Childhelp co-founder and President Yvonne Fedderson echoed a similar sentiment.

“And we’re in Arizona!” she said. “It doesn’t get much more ‘western’ than right here. So giddy up and give!”

Childhelp reaches tens of thousands of Arizona children and families each year through the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona; its prevention education program, Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe; its international child abuse helpline, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD;; and other Childhelp programs and services, which serve children and families nationwide.

Jim and Carol Hebets, Yvonne Fedderson, Sara O’Meara (Photo: Scott Foust Studios/

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