The Gift of Love Gala celebrated its 4th annual event on June 17 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. More than 700 people attended the gala, which benefits The Center of Family Love.
The Gala raised more than $670,000 for the center’s residents who live with intellectual and physical disabilities. Located in Okarche, the center provides innovative, educational and vocational opportunities for residents. The care is designed to meet the individual needs of those who live with autism, blindness, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injuries.
“It is incredibly humbling to see so many come together and share their gifts with our residents who make The Center of Family Love their home. Everything we do is in service to God, who has blessed our organization and the success of this event,” said Debbie Espinosa, CEO of The Center of Family Love.
“The Center of Family Love has always been one of my favorite organizations! Each one of their residents has been designed in God’s perfect image and I am honored to have been a part of this event that raises money for them. Monica and I are already looking forward to the gala next year,” said Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who was master of ceremonies at the gala.
The event features various live auction items, and honors long-time friends and supporters of the organization.
Joe Pierce accepted the Harold J. Wittrock Humanitarian Award, recognizing a lifetime of dedication and service to The Center of Family Love, and Bill and Carolyn Brown were honored with the Outstanding Community Ambassador Award, recognizing their time and talent used to help the center.
“It was our pleasure to be able to name the Outstanding Community Ambassador Award after Bill and Carolyn Brown,” Espinosa said. “We are proud to remember their legacy, which will live on through this award, and we cannot think of a better example for others to follow than this incredible couple.”
Gifts are a critical part of the organization’s success, helping to off-set the $1.2 million needed to operate the center each year.
The mission of The Center Family Love is to provide quality lifetime care to adults with developmental disabilities. For more information about the center, go online to www.centeroffamilylove.org.