By Kathy Collins

A Kid’s Place in Brandon is holding its Be a Hero Annual Luncheon on Friday, May 13. Registration begins at 11:15 a.m. and the lunch and program begin at 12 p.m. The Annual Luncheon, presented by the MacKinnon Family Foundation, will be held at the TPepin Hospitality Centre located at 4121 N. 50th St. in Tampa. Tickets to the lunch are $50 per person and sponsorships are available.

A Kid’s Place provides a safe, stable and loving environment for abused, abandoned and neglected children from birth to 17 years of age. The primary focus is to keep siblings together in a homelike atmosphere with live-in house parents. Since it opened, A Kid’s Place has provided over 125,000 bed nights for children.

This year, the luncheon is hosted by Cathy Unruh, a friend of the late Dottie Berger MacKinnon, founder of A Kid’s Place. Attendees to the luncheon will be inspired by a video showing the experiences of a foster child. According to Samantha Mellen, development manager for A Kid’s Place, “The traumas endured by abused and neglected children affect their lives long after they enter foster care. These traumas impact their placement in the foster system and create challenges to caregivers, social workers, adoptive parents and foster parents.”

A Kid’s Place hopes to raise $100,000 at this year’s luncheon, which will feature a sit down lunch with food prepared by Puff ‘n Stuff Catering.

Mellen said, “Funds raised will be used to support the programs offered at A Kid’s Place such as Siblings Connected program, which provides loving house parents for the children, education and therapeutic services, independent living opportunities, food and outings. The children in our care have experienced very real trauma, and their first need is for healing. At A Kid’s Place, that healing can take place in the safety and security of a loving home where they can be with their brothers and sisters.”

A Kid’s Place offers tours for those interested in becoming involved. These can be scheduled by contacting the Development Department at 381-3839 or A Kid’s Place is located at 1715 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon. For more information on A Kid’s Place and to get tickets to the Be a Hero Annual Luncheon, visit

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