For nearly two decades, one of the most admired annual fundraising events to attend during gala season has been Childhelp’s Drive the Dream Gala. This year is no different. The 2023 event—which marks the event’s 19th annual event—features a fun country theme and will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 18, at The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale.
“This year’s Western-themed gala, ‘Giddy Up for Kids,’ is the brainchild of co-chairs Sheila and Mike Ingram, Kim and Rod Cullum, and vice-chairs Carol and Jim Hebets,” explains Daphne Young, chief communications officer at Childhelp. “They wanted to create a fun-filled night of fundraising that played on a denim and diamonds concept. It’s a touch more relaxed in attire but with a serious ask for people to bring their generosity to the table for the children of Childhelp.”
The “Queen of Country,” Reba McEntire, will accept the Childhelp Woman of the World Award for her child-serving philanthropy, while Dream Center founder Pastor Tommy Barnett will receive the Childhelp Man of the World Award for helping homeless and trafficked youth. Track Rekord, a Valley-based high-performance driving education company, will be presented with the Childhelp Nellie Jackson Award.
Added to the music, there will be dinner, dancing, a live auction, and more.
“It will be a night of kicking up our boots and tipping our hats to some amazing heroes who help our mission shine,” Young says.
Proceeds from the gala benefit the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona, dedicated to Linda Pope. Since 1998, the nonprofit has served over 140,000 abused and neglected children by providing treatment, intervention, and investigation services. Young says that the center is recognized as a best practice agency, serving as a model for advocacy centers nationwide and, more recently, in Canada and Japan.
“In addition to our advocacy center in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona is home to the Childhelp Headquarters and the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, both located in Scottsdale,” Young says. “Arizonans are almost always in the top 10 users of our hotline, so we are proud to serve our state as we serve the nation. From a child in crisis needing immediate intervention, to a parent seeking resources, to a survivor wanting counseling in the middle of the night, our degreed professionals are available 24/7 to save lives and soothe hearts.”
She adds that the need for their services is so dire that there is a waiting list for children to be served at the center. On average, the center serves 8,500 children annually.
A new service that the nonprofit offers is the Childhelp & Foundation for Global Sports Development Courage First Helpline (1.888.279.1026).
“Relying on our data and expertise for 40 years of hotline excellence, we worked with these Olympic consultants to bring to life a hotline that exclusively serves youth athletes,” Young explains. “We’ve all seen the headlines of young people being abused in sports and we are proud to pioneer a new prevention service to get in front of the problem.”
Events like the Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala, which often raises millions in funding, are crucial to continuing to offer these needed services to children in need and families in crisis.
“A gala like the Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala doesn’t just support today’s work, it paves the way for tomorrow’s innovation,” Young says.
19th Annual Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala
Sat., Feb. 18
The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale
6000 E. Camelback Road
Giddy Up For Kids
Following the Western theme, country superstar Clint Black will be headlining the event Other musical acts include favorites Red Steagall, Nate Nathan and The MacDaddy-os, Rosevelt Rawls, and Steve Amerson.