Successful CR Benefit Inspires Crowd, Raises Funds

Pictured: Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz

Pictured: Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz

“Inspiring.” “Moving.” “Hopeful.”

These are just a few of the sentiments expressed by the more than 250 guests who attended our Eighth Annual Children’s Rights Benefit on October 7–and the reasons were clear.

Former foster youth, parents and advocates spoke powerfully about what drives their passion for changing foster care, bringing many attendees to tears.

“I want to help the kids that have to go through what I did,” said keynote speaker Dylan McIntosh, who suffered abuse in both his biological and foster homes. “The foster care system should focus on finding good foster parents, the ones that change lives for the better.”

LaTasha C. Watts told the crowd that she became homeless after leaving foster care at 18. “Due to the lack of resources, I really had to struggle, but now I am an advocate for foster youth to help them age out of foster care successfully.”

In the end, the heartfelt event raised more than $550,000 to help CR improve the lives of kids in dangerous foster care systems. But not before CR honored three amazing people for making a difference: Frederic Dorwart, founder of Oklahoma-based Frederic Dorwart, Lawyers, actor Rosie Perez and Emmy-Award winning casting director Sheila Jaffe.

Notable attendees included producer Kasseem ‘Swizz Beatz’ Dean, singer Alicia Keys, actors Lorraine Bracco and Vincent Pastore, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks Debra L. Lee and hip hop icon and CR Board Member Darryl “DMC” McDaniels. Swizz closed out the night by deejaying the after-party, where guests danced the night away.

See photos from the benefit on our Flickr Photostream:

Read additional articles in Notes from the Field, the Children’s Rights Newsletter: