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Childhelp hosts Drive the Dream Gala: The Power of Love Throughout the Years

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The evening will also reflect on the remarkable journey of Childhelp’s founders Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson (pictured above), who discovered their mission of helping abused, neglected and at-risk children while on a USO Tour during the Korean War. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)

Childhelp celebrates 65 years at 2024 Drive the Dream Gala

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Childhelp, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit dedicated to eliminating child abuse, will celebrate its 65-year anniversary and the 20th annual Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at the renowned Phoenician Resort.

Celebrities, world class entertainers, and generous supporters will come together in celebration and support of Childhelp’s lifesaving programs.

Proceeds from the event directly support the services provided to abused and neglected children in Arizona through the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona, according to a press release.

Since 1998, the CCCAZ has served more than 140,000 abused and neglected children by providing treatment, intervention and investigation services. Recognized as a best practice agency, it continues to serve as a model for advocacy centers nationwide, the release states.

Carol and Jim Hebets are chairing the event alongside co-chairs Dru Hammer and Scott Schirmer who chose this year’s theme, ‘The Power of Love Throughout the Years’ to honor Childhelp’s 65-year history as well as the heroes who have helped shape the organization’s mission and impact on the world.

The evening will also reflect on the remarkable journey of Childhelp’s co-founders Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, who discovered their mission of helping abused, neglected and at-risk children while on a USO Tour during the Korean War.

Celebrated personality, actress and comedian Melissa Peterman will emcee the event. A Childhelp Celebrity Ambassador, Ms. Peterman has been involved with the organization’s mission for years and has been the Master of Ceremonies for multiple Childhelp events, spreading the word with her good humor and loving heart.

Other superstar celebrity supporters expected in attendance include Kathie Lee Gifford and John Stamos.

International vocal group, The Tenors, who are made up of four incredible musicians will headline the event. Victor Micallef, Clifton Murray, Alberto Urso and Mark Masri hit the global stage with their unique renditions of original music and tributes of operatic songs mixed with classical and pop elements and will grace the stage at Drive the Dream with a special performance.

With a reputation for hosting an impressive lineup of entertainers, crafting an incredible show, and breaking fundraising records, the ChildHelp Drive the Dream Gala has become a can’t miss event in the Valley. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)
Childhelp celebrates 65 years at 2024 Drive the Dream Gala

Childhelp will present the Man of the World Award to businessman Mike Ingram, founder of El Dorado Holdings, Inc.

Mr. Ingram began working at the age of 11, progressed through college by his own efforts, and has long demonstrated his dedication to giving back to his community and country by serving on numerous boards and in civic organizations. Childhelp will bestow this honor for the fourth time.

“We are so blessed to celebrate 65 years of making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable, our children,” Childhelp Co-Founder and CEO Sara O’Meara said. “And the power of love throughout the years is felt through our many heroes, ambassadors and supporters who together have served 11 million children, while focusing on how to end child abuse for the next generation.”

With a reputation for hosting an impressive lineup of entertainers, crafting an incredible show, and breaking fundraising records, the gala has become a can’t miss event in the Valley. Guests will enjoy an evening of fine-dining, dancing, a live auction and a fund-a-need, all to raise money for Childhelp’s mission of healing and hope.

“It was military leaders who helped Childhelp save our first 11 orphans in Japan, rescue children through Operation Baby Lift and spread the message of prevention through Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe,” Ms. Fedderson said. “We are honored to recognize these heroes and honor our history at this event.”

It is estimated that five children die every day from child abuse and neglect. The Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala is one way the community can help support the intervention, treatment and prevention of child abuse in Arizona.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Childhelp served more than 30,000 Arizona children and families just last year. Since its inception, Childhelp has helped more than 11 million children and families nationwide.

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