As Roy Rogers used to say, “… it’s the way you ride the trail that counts.” The crowd of cowboys, cowgirls, and city slickers in attendance at the 5th Annual Caring for Kids fundraiser rode the trail with honor and enthusiasm, raising more than $104,000 for foster families in the DFW Metroplex.
The “Happy Trails” theme was on display at Eddie Deen’s Ranch in Dallas, with lots of tasty barbecue, a fun cattle-roping game, great music by the Devin Leigh band, and the abundance of cowboy hats and boots adorning partygoers.
Foster parents Sherry and David Hill were the evening’s keynote speakers. They have been married 13 years and have been foster parents for 11 of those years. They have cared for more than 150 children in their home, and right now have 11 children (nearly all teenagers) living with them. The Hills shared a powerful testimony of both the challenges and rewards of their lives as foster parents.
David said, “As foster parents we don’t get to shut off the lights and lock the doors and go home to a quiet dinner with the family and block out the day’s work. We’re on the job 24/7, 365 days a year. We cannot call in sick or show up late and leave early.” Sherry added, “Some of these kids have never been to a restaurant, movie, sporting event, zoo, and the list goes on and on. Even without the help that we receive from FIT—which is ultimately what they receive from donations from people like you here —these kids would still have a better life than what they were taken out of. But after what they have been through … don’t you think they deserve a GREAT life?”
Six foster families were in attendance, along with seven staff members from the local LSS-FIT offices.
Respite care – the pause that refreshes!
The special appeal for the evening was “respite care.” Paid respite care is the wonderful program offered solely by LSS to give foster parents much-needed breaks, and it is most appreciated by our foster parents. Of the total that was raised, $34,000 will go specifically for respite care for DFW-area families. A video was shown at the event featuring FIT parents Sheryl Orr of Weatherford and Portia Ratcliff of Little Elm. On the video, they thanked everyone for their support of respite care last year and appealed for support again this year.
With special thanks to …
Larry Mowry, Chief Meteorologist for CBS 11 in DFW, served as the live auctioneer for the fifth year. It just wouldn’t be Caring for Kids without Larry! His fun, upbeat personality and passion for the kids we serve make him a terrific emcee.
NFL offensive tackle Luke Joeckel recorded a video that was shown, expressing his gratitude for everyone at the event and detailing his personal experience visiting with the kids of FIT.
Dan and Kailey Zieschang decorated 100 wine glasses that were sold at the event for $25 each, so that each one of our Dallas-area foster families and their children could attend a fun day at the zoo in June. The families are so looking forward to their zoo adventure!
We had four outstanding live auction items, and more than 70 silent auction items, a result of the hard work of our committee: Fran Kliebert, Allison Mull, Michelle Schneider, and Mark Tholen.
There were more than 200 guests in attendance, hailing from McKinney, Flower Mound, Hurst, Duncanville, Keller, and all over!
You can see videos of foster families and photos of the event HERE. Happy trails ’til next year everyone, when we meet again …