Childhelp Celebrates 60th Anniversary

15th annual Drive the Dream Gala raises $4.3M

A star-studded assembly of guests celebrated Childhelp’s Diamond Jubilee on Feb. 2 at the Phoenician. The organization, founded in 1959 by actresses Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, has served more than 10.5 million children nationally in its 60 years.

Among the 750 guests were television personalities and actors Kathie Lee Gifford, Megyn Kelly, Cheryl Ladd, Connie Stevens, Chelsea Kane, John O’Hurley and Cameron Mathison. Also attending were former and current government officials Senator Martha McSally, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, former Senator Jon Kyl and former Representative Matt Salmon.

Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson and Mr. Richard J Stephenson co-chaired the evening, along with honorary chairs Gov. Doug Ducey and Angela Ducey and Carol and Jim Hebets. Senator Kyl and Caryll Kyl were honored with the Childhelp Diamond Jubilee Award for their leadership and work in support of Childhelp. Craig Jackson presented the Childhelp Nellie Jackson Award, named for his mother, to Patrick J. McGroder III for sharing Nellie Jackson’s dedication to the cause for helping vulnerable children in need.

Melissa Peterman, known for her role in the television comedy series Reba, emceed the evening. The Pointer Sisters entertained guests with several of their hits, and The Tenors, Pia Toscano, Stacey Kay, Caroline Campbell, William Joseph and Jonathan Cullen provided additional entertainment.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and Cancer Treatment Centers of America were corporate sponsors. White House Design Studio created the beautiful floral arrangements and ballroom décor.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center of Arizona, which will see more than 8,000 children this year.


Carol Hebets, Sara O’Meara, Yvonne Fedderson and Jim Hebets

Melissa Peterman welcomes guests

Governor Doug Ducey, Yvonne Fedderson, Sara O’Meara and Angela Ducey

Sheriff Paul Penzone and Veronica Penzone

Yvonne Fedderson, former Senator Jon Kyl and Caryll Kyl, and Sara O’Meara

Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson, Melissa Peterman and Kathie Lee Gifford; Richardson J Stephenson and Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson with the Pointer Sisters

Pia Toscano

The Tenors

Mike and Sheila Ingram

Joel and Shannon Barthelomy

Craig Jackson and Patrick McGroder III

Shannon Argyros, Joey Ciolli, Bob Stockley and Molly Stockley

Decor by White House Design Studio

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