Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hearts and Hands Alliance Luncheon honors Gloria Campos

This recap of the Hearts & Hands Alliance Luncheon benefiting Friends of Wednesday’s Child is brought to you by Guest Contributor, LeeAnne Locken:

Friends of Wednesday’s Child (formerly Wednesday’s Child Benefit Corporation) was founded in 1984 when volunteers recognized there is no child needier than a foster child. They are the only organization that provides funds to fulfill the specific needs of North Texas foster children when no one else can or will so they are able to have as normal a childhood as possible.

This year's annual fundraiser took place on December 2 at The Ritz-Carlton.  The event opened with a Latin flair as students from the Booker T. Washington Jazz Singers/Latin Ensemble put the audience in a great mood showing off their talents!  I couldn't help but notice there was only one male singer in the group - he turned out to be the son of Gloria Campos, who thought she was there to be the emcee for the event.

Event chair, Kathy Miller Rabey, LeeAnne Locken and Gloria Campos

Campos was shocked to discover that she was not the emcee of the day's event, but this year’s recipient of her namesake award. As her long-time camera man made his way to introduce her, a look of shock fell over her as he announced that he was “doing double duty by introducing Campos and running the cameras that afternoon”.  In her speech, Campos let the audience know how much it had meant to her to be involved for so many years and that even though the torch was being passed to WFAA's Cynthia Izaguirre, she still plans to stay involved with Wednesday's Child

Campos teared up as she spoke about a new direction she is taking, which is a new series that will feature the success stories of children that she originally highlighted as a Wednesday’s Child from the past, who not only survived the system but also have ended up with stable families of their own. Gloria looks forward to showing us what happened to her kids and where they are now! Keep up with her on her new Facebook Fan Page.

DeeDee Lee, Patsy Donosky and Holly Pellham Davis

Next up was our speaker, 2006 Mrs. Texas, Tracy Elliot. Elliot was orphaned at a young age and suffered abuse at the hands of her uncles, something that contributed to some not so wholesome choices later in life. Elliott’s memoir, Unbroken, details a downward spiral that ended when she met her husband. All this makes the Wednesday’s Child cause (helping foster children overcome neglect, abandonment, and abuse) near and dear to her heart.

As she shared her experiences, the audience sat mesmerized, listening to her amazing faith, which is how she says she survived. At one point she giggled with fondness remembering how she gave her book to a friend who called her a few days later in tears about all that she had been through. Elliot replied, “Don’t cry for me! I’m in a cabana in St. Martin. It all worked out for the best!”

Overall this luncheon left the attendees feeling not only inspired about their lives but hopefully ready to help others. After all it is the Season of Giving!

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Photo credit: Kristina Bowman