Third Annual “Charting A Course Of Hope” Luncheon Raises More Than $100,000
September 27, 2007 marked the third year in a row that Austin Child Guidance Center hosted its annual luncheon at the Austin Country Club. Silicon Laboratories and LCRA Employees’ United Charities generously underwrote the cost of the luncheon (pictured are Linda Garrett with Silicon Laboratories and Beverly Seffel with LCRA). The event, attended by close to 300 people, raised $103,748 in donations and pledges over five years.
This year’s guest speaker, Malinda Jones, told an extraordinary story about her young child and how his behavior at school and inability to learn appeared to predict a lifetime of frustration and failure. Ms. Jones spoke passionately about how the multi-faceted services at Austin Child Guidance Center helped her son overcome mental health issues that had at one time seemed insurmountable. Her child, who was once considered “slow,” is now a confident adolescent with an above-average IQ and a facility for math.
The program also included sixteen-year-old Christina who at age 12 had been removed from her mother and placed in a children’s shelter due to drugs and neglect within the household. With the help of counseling at Austin Child Guidance Center, Christina learned to cope with the loss of her mother, her feelings about being adopted, and her depression and anxiety. Now a confident, mature young lady, Christina read movingly a heartbreaking poem that she had written at the beginning of her recovery period.
Both guest speakers at this year’s luncheon helped audience members better understand the relationship between mental health and academic performance. Children suffering from mental health issues are at a much higher risk of dropping out of school, juvenile delinquency and anti-social behaviors. As described in the testimonials from both Ms. Jones and Christina, the mental health professionals at Austin Child Guidance Center teach children how to deal with the emotional issues that impede their ability to learn.
Helping propel the amount of money raised at this year’s “Charting a Course of Hope” luncheon were new members of Austin Child Guidance Center’s multi-year giving society, the Navigator Society. The new members are:
Pat and Bob Ayres
David and Lore Bigham
Bob Boney and Anne Nelson
Mike and Kelli Craddock
Kaye and Mark Fiest
Jim and LaVada Steed
David and Laura Wieland
Austin Child Guidance Center sincerely thanks the 163 people who made donations or multi-year pledges at the 2007 luncheon.