Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona kicked off its 25th Anniversary celebration with a gala on Oct. 20. The event at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa drew 300 supporters, and honored Renee and Bob Parsons for their many years of transformative gifts to the organization.
“Children are the world’s most precious gift and deserve to be shown love, support and guidance to grow into thriving adults. Unfortunately, not every child gets to know what it’s like to be loved or cared for by a parent,” Bob Parsons said. “Free Arts uses art to create moments in time that have a lasting impact, helping these children gain confidence and realize they are valuable.”
Presented by APS, Free Arts’ 25th Anniversary Gala raised a total of $1,358,066 to support programs that use art and mentorship to transform children’s trauma into resilience. During the evening, the Parsons surprised Free Arts with a $1.1 million donation, $1 million to go toward renovation of the new Free Arts building and $100,000 to support Free Arts’ programs.
Proceeds from the event will support Free Arts’ goal to serve even more children in foster care group homes, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, residential treatment facilities, schools and unaccompanied minor shelters through art, a trauma-informed curriculum and mentoring.
The Parsons have been longtime supporters of Free Arts and through The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation have granted more than $4 million to the organization over the past six years, including this most recent gift.