16th Annual Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala Raises $3.74 Million

More than 700 guests – including stars & political leaders – came together to support America’s abused and neglected children

PHOENIX (Feb. 18, 2020) – Hollywood stars, political names, and philanthropic supporters from across the U.S. turned out for Childhelp’s premiere event of the year, Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Feb. 15. Celebrity sightings included Dancing with the Stars’ Maks Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd, The Bachelor’s Arie and Lauren Luyendyk, former NFL Quarterback Kurt Warner, WWE wrestler Mickie James, Seinfeld’s John O’Hurley and more.

Headquartered in Arizona, Childhelp is the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to fighting and preventing child abuse and neglect. Each year, the event raises money to support Childhelp’s lifesaving programs, which have served more than 10.5 million children since the organization’s founding in 1959.

Emceed by RebaM and Baby Daddy star Melissa Peterman, the Mary-Poppins themed gala featured performances by REO Speedwagon, the Phoenix Theatre, and Childhelp Youth Ambassador Rosevelt Rawls, a 12-year-old singer from Mesa, Arizona. Political leaders included Sen. Martha McSally, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, Former Sen. Jon Kyl, Rep. David Schweikert, Arizona Supreme Court Justices Bill Montgomery and Clint Bolick, and Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane.

“Our Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala celebrates the healing journey of a child, and it also allows us to recognize the supporters who drive dreams for children every day,” Childhelp Co-Founder, Vice Chairman and President Yvonne Fedderson said. “We are blessed to come together on this night alongside or Childhelp Celebrity Ambassadors, national and local political leaders, longtime donors, volunteers and staff from around the country. Together, we can change the lives of millions more children.”

The generous sponsors of this year’s event included Grimaldi’s, NFP – The Hebets Company, Foster and Lynn Friess, SEMA Cares, Mr. Ira Gaines and Mrs. Cheryl Hintzen-Gaines, Dr. Stacie J. and Mr. Richard J. Stephenson, the Florkiewicz Foundation, and the Hammered Heart Foundation. The event was chaired by Ivy Ciolli, Dru Hammer, and Jacqueline Nerguizian.

Over its 60 year history, Childhelp has garnered support from numerous celebrities and political leaders. Actor and musician John Stamos is the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline Spokesman, and other celebrity ambassadors include Kathie Lee Gifford, Betty White, David Foster, Nancy Grace, Jane Seymour, and Cheryl Ladd.

“When we set out on this path more than 60 years ago, the child abuse epidemic was America’s best kept secret,” Childhelp Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman Sara O’Meara Said. “We called up our friends in Hollywood and launched the first campaign to end child abuse. Decades later, we still work toward the moment when five children no longer die every day from abuse and neglect. We are proud to stand alongside our celebrity partners, philanthropists, and the generous souls who truly make a difference for children.”

Link to photos (credit Gudenschwager Photography Inc.): View Dropbox Photos


About Childhelp: Founded by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson in 1959, Childhelp® has brought the light of hope and healing into the lives of more than 10 and a half million children as a leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping abused, neglected and at-risk children. Childhelp’s programs and services include residential treatment, children’s advocacy centers, therapeutic foster care, group homes and child abuse prevention, education and training. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline serves children and adults nationwide 24/7 through phone, text and online chat. For more information, visit www.childhelp.org and follow Childhelp at facebook.com/childhelp, instagram.com/childhelp and twitter.com/childhelp.