The seventh annual Fostering Hope Gala, benefitting Brandon-based A Kid’s Place and presented by Homes by WestBay, raised more than $500,000 on May 8. The Arabian Nights-themed event was held at the outdoor Saunders Pavilion at Zoo Tampa with approximately 350 people in attendance and social distancing.
Founded in 2009, A Kid’s Place provides support to children in the foster care system. Its homelike, residential program assists children from birth to age 18 who have been removed from their parents’ care because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. In addition to offering services to meet the social, medical, educational and psychological needs of foster children, A Kid’s Place puts a special emphasis on keeping siblings together in a safe, stable and nurturing environment.
“We are absolutely thrilled and thankful for everyone who helped us reach this incredible milestone,” said Brad Gregory, CEO of A Kid’s Place. “Our community has shown us their extraordinary generosity, and their support of our much-needed mission. These funds will go a long way in supporting the children we assist.”
This year’s Fostering Hope Gala is the first in-person event held by the nonprofit since the COVID-19 pandemic. It was delayed several months so that organizers could secure an outdoor location that allowed for social distancing and other COVID-19 health and safety precautions.
As more people have been vaccinated and sporting events, such as golf tournaments, have been held locally, leaders with A Kid’s Place believed they could move forward with the event while offering a safe environment for guests.
“This year’s event was successful beyond our wildest expectations, and a true testament that our community is bouncing back from the pandemic,” added Homes by WestBay Vice President and CFO Beth Bradburn, who is also the incoming vice chair of the nonprofit’s board of directors. “After a year of observing proper precautions, our guests were thrilled to enjoy a five-star evening and donate to an organization that helps our community’s most vulnerable kids.”
Funds raised from the Fostering Hope Gala are used to directly assist in the essential daily health and welfare needs of the children it serves, including food and clothing, health and welfare necessities, fun activities and maintenance needs for A Kid’s Place’s residential facility.
Homes by WestBay has been committed to A Kid’s Place for several years. As the largest locally owned, privately held homebuilder in Tampa Bay, Homes by WestBay’s leadership strongly believes in giving back to the local community not only through financial contributions, but also through their time and service. The company was also integral in launching A Kid’s Place’s independent living program, which helps high school graduates who are in the foster care system transition to living on their own.
To learn more about A Kid’s Place, visit www.akidsplacetb.org.