On Thursday, October 5, 2023, nearly 300 people from across Massachusetts came together to celebrate the work the Children's Trust has accomplished in preventing child abuse and neglect.
Guests heard powerful testimonies from program participants, Andrée Gonzalez and recent Nurturing Fathers graduates, celebrated Sheriff Patrick J. Cahillane with the Governor Paul Cellucci Fatherhood Award for his commitment to supporting fathers, and bid on incredible auction packages to benefit vital child abuse prevention programs.
Moments of Gratitude
Andrée Gonzalez spoke about the positive impact the Children’s Trust Healthy Families program has had on her family. She shared how the program has empowered her to recognize and address negative behaviors she did not want to repeat with her children.
“It [Healthy Families] has reshaped the way I view young children and young parents. It has given us hope, guidance, and a sense of belonging. It has helped me break the cycle of abuse and trauma that I experienced in my own childhood.” -Andrée Gonzalez
In the video below, recent Nurturing Fathers graduates express their gratitude and reflect on how the Nurturing Fathers program has helped them become the fathers they aspire to be.
I would not be the person I am in my recovery, in my journey today if it wasn't for this [Nurturing Fathers] program." - Jeff, Children’s Trust program participant
Moments of Reflection
Jennifer Valenzuela, Children’s Trust Executive Director, reflected on her first year at the Children’s Trust and what it takes to prevent child abuse and build strong, healthy families. She spoke about the importance of addressing risk factors of abuse and neglect, like poverty and mental health, and how we can all work together to ensure more families have the support, guidance, and tools they need to keep kids safe and healthy.
Moments of Celebration
Jenn Valenzuela, Children's Trust Executive Director with Sheriff Patrick Cahillane and David Sullivan, District Attorney, Northwestern District
Hampshire County Sheriff Patrick J. Cahillane received the Governor Paul Cellucci Fatherhood Award in recognition of his transformational impact and leadership with the Nurturing Fathers Program at the Hampshire County House of Correction.
Sheriff Cahillane has been an instrumental partner for the Children’s Trust in helping to bring the Nurturing Fathers Program to the Hampshire County House of Corrections and then expanding it into the local community. His commitment to supporting fathers and the strength-based approach to his work in the criminal justice system reflects Governor Cellucci and the Children’s Trust’s commitment to elevate the importance of dads in the lives of their children.
Thank you to our sponsors, supporters, and volunteers who helped make The Children’s Trust Gala a success. A special thanks to this year’s auctioneer, Sherry Truhlar, and emcee, Karen Anderson of WCBV-5.
Together, we can end child abuse in Massachusetts.