Right on Time
Lawmakers hosting fundraiser for hard-hit The Children’s Home
State Reps. Edward Hanes Jr. and Donny Lambeth are co-hosting a fundraiser for the beleaguered The Children’s Home.
The Autumn Ball, an evening of dinner and dancing, will be held Friday, Nov. 1 at the Millennium Center, 101 W 5th St.
“What we’re trying to do is build relationships throughout the community and help tell their story, because I think, quite frankly, a lot of people don’t know much about The Children’s Home, and that story needs to be told,” said Lambeth, a Republican who represents Forsyth County’s District 75. “It’s a tremendous asset for this community.”
For more than a century, the Home has served thousands of children and families, providing everything from substance abuse counseling to foster care and adoption services.
“That place has been a home for some kids that have come from some pretty tough environments, and I think that’s pretty important,” said Hanes, a Democrat who represents District 72. “That’s something that I would like to see last and go on for many, many years.”
The Home, which is more than a million dollars in the red, is undergoing a restructuring that will bring an end to two of its residential programs and its Peek-A-Moos Child Development Center and lead to 79 layoffs.
CEO Maurice Ware said ending the programs was a difficult but necessary financial decision.
“It’s tough, it’s difficult, but at the end of the day, it’s about keeping the mission alive,” he said. “…We’re still doing great work and we will continue to do great work.”
The Ball will feature a decadent meal and the sounds of Grammy nominee John Brown, director of the Jazz Program at Duke University, and his group, the John Brown Jazz Quintet. The event is designed to generate income for the Home’s general fund while helping the organization’s leadership foster new connections and relationships with community leaders, said Hanes.
“We’re looking at it as a platform for them to get introduced to business leaders that they haven’t met before, and vice versa, to get business leaders involved in The Children’s Home and what it does for kids,” the city native stated.
Lambeth and Hanes are hoping to attract at least 300 people to the event, which is bipartisan by design, Lambeth said.
“We’ve invited all of the legislators – both Democrats and Republicans,” he noted. “…We’ve been very broad based in who we’ve targeted and we hope that we’ll get enough response that we’ll have to turn people away.”
“If we can bring some examples here locally that in fact Democrats and Republicans can get together and do things worthwhile when we want to, I think it’s important that we do that,” Hanes added. “I think it’s important that folks understand there’s a human element to everything that we do.”
Despite the setbacks, Ware said the 104-year-old Children’s Home is positioning itself to be around well into the next century.
“We’re still thriving; we’re just making necessary adjustments,” he said. “The Children’s Home is here, we have a plan to move forward, and we’re going to execute it.
Doors open for the Autumn Ball at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $100, and table sponsorships start at $1,000. To purchase tickets, make a donation or for more information, visit www.wsautumnball.com or contact Natasha Smith at 336-891-0285.