For years Three Rivers Adoption Council (TRAC) held a celebrity cook-off at a popular Japanese steak house as a major fundraiser. As we know, change is good and four years ago TRAC launched the (UNMASK)erade Gala as their annual fundraiser. This year the gala was held on April 17, at the LeMont Restaurant. Guests enjoyed taking pictures in fabulous masks, participating in various fundraising challenges and enjoying a great evening designed to celebrate TRAC’s 39 years of service. Attendees purchased cupcakes for $20 each as part of a 50/50 raffle. Once all cupcakes were purchased, each person bit into their cupcake at the same time to see which one had the winning filling. The winner received $500 but quickly donated it back to TRAC. Guests also showed how big their heart was by purchasing paper hearts from $25 to $500. For $250 one could support a family attendance for an annual trauma-informed resource family retreat.
Dr. Armenia Johnson was the keynote speaker for the evening. Dr. Johnson is the first single person in Allegheny County to be approved as a single adoptive parent. That was in 1974. She is now the mother of three sons and a grandmother. She said adoption agencies should be on a mission to find loving homes. She said adoption was one of the best choices that she ever made.
TRAC’s primary goal is to ensure all children grow up in a loving permanent family. Dr. Jacqueline D. Wilson, TRAC CEO, said much has changed in 39 years from the number of children placed due to drug exposure and abuse, to the need to place the older youth. TRAC has worked fervently to ensure the development of skills knowledge and programs to address these changes, in order to unmask the hurts of children and assist them in healing from the trauma of their life experiences. TRAC has placed or assisted in the placement of over 7,200 children.
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