Saturday, February 24th marked the 14th Annual Celebrating Mothers Brunch, a pillar event for the organization and platform for the Spirit of Motherhood Award. The Spirit of Motherhood Award honors an individual and/or organization working to promote maternal and child health in unique and extraordinary ways. This year’s recipient was Dorothy Johnson-Speight, Founder and National Executive Director of Mothers in Charge, Inc.
The morning started with networking in the Hyatt at the Bellevue’s Red and Gold room and at 10:00am, guests transitioned into the Ballroom where they took their seats and were welcomed by MCC Board President, Liza Seltzer. 6abc Morning news Anchor, Tamala Edwards, returned for her second year as emcee of the event bringing personal anecdotes from her own experience as a Mother and support for MCC’s mission.
2017 marked a year of change for MCC with the departures of Executive Director JoAnne Fischer and Deputy Executive Director, Bette Begleitter and a new strategic plan for the organization. Vice President of External Affairs, Marianne Fray provided an overview of these changes along with Vice President of Programs Karen Pollack. Additionally, Karen presented an award to her Mother, Iris Pollack, to thank her for her over 15 years of service to the organization. Check out the video below to watch her speech.
After brunch, Dorothy Johnson-Speight was awarded the Spirit of Motherhood Award. In her speech she shared her experience of working through the pain of her son, Khaaliq Jabbar Johnson’s death. Dorothy has used her platform to support other mothers who have lost their children and loved ones due to gun violence. She is a community leader with a National presence and reminded the crowd that while the missions of Mothers and Charge and MCC may be different, “the goal is the same. Saving lives and supporting families.”
The morning would not be complete without the adrenaline pumping fund-a-need portion hosted by auctioneer Jeff Hammond. During this segment, attendees bid on MCC services ranging from providing a safe sleep environment for a newborn to helping offset start-up and implementation costs associated with innovative pilots, ground-breaking approaches and evidence-based practices.
Thanks to event attendees participation in the jewelry pull sponsored by Kendra Scott, the wine rack, fund-a-need, silent auction and other donations and sponsorships, MCC was able to raise $103,900 and counting to continue supporting women, children and families in Southeastern, Pennsylvania. We are looking forward to next year where we will welcome our new CEO and a new Spirit of Motherhood honoree. See you next year!
To view pictures from this year’s event, please head to our Flickr account by following the link here.