Fans of Family Life Fund (FLF) that were “betting” on a good time at their annual fundraiser were not disappointed after attending A Sweet Gesture 2017. The casino inspired event, A Night in Monte Carlo, was held at The Fairmont Pittsburgh and hosted two hundred guests. The non-profit, dedicated to helping families cope with a child’s compromised health or well-being, supports local organizations that honor the impact of a family in a child’s life. Profits from the signature event are dedicated to community programs that provide education, support, and social activities designed to sustain and heal families. This year’s proceeds will benefit Family Life Fund and subsidize family support initiatives at Every Child Inc., and Jameson’s Army.

“We were really excited about A Sweet Gesture 2017,” said FLF President Christine Estellon. “We had fantastic sponsors, auction items, and entertainment. Most importantly, the event benefited great organizations that help families right here in the Pittsburgh region.”

Jameson’s Army, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to raising awareness and funding for children and families affected by congenital heart defects (CHD) in Pittsburgh and South Western PA. They work closely with organizations such as The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (CHP), The Children’s Home and Lemieux Foundation, and Your Child’s Place to provide additional support for families served through their heart centers.

“Jameson’s Army is so honored to be the charity of choice for the Family Life Fund, A Sweet Gesture Event,” said Danielle McKain, Co-Founder & President of Jameson’s Army. “Being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect and life illness I know what the families we support go through. It is such an honor to be able to help fellow families and an incredible feeling when you see charity helping charity. With the funding provided by A Family Life Fund, Jameson’s Army will be able to provide so many incredible resources to our congenital heart defect families so we can fulfill wishes such as our therapy heart pillows, meals from the heart and our toy drives.”

Additionally, proceeds from the event will help Every Child, Inc. continue their emphasis on family focused services by acquiring training and certification in trauma-informed care for a clinician or social worker. Every Child, established in 1997, was founded on the belief that all children, no matter their age, race, disability or special health care need, deserve the opportunity to grow up with a loving and lasting family. The organization serves birth, foster and adoptive families, as well as children with special needs from Allegheny and surrounding Pennsylvania counties with an individualized array of clinical and therapeutic behavioral health care.

“At Every Child,” states Executive Director Laura Maines, “we believe that empowering and effecting change in a community begins with empowering and effecting change in a family. Many of the children and families we serve have experienced trauma in some form. This trauma can drive a child’s behavior and emotions and undermine a child’s ability to succeed in school and life. It also threatens a parent’s ability to care for loved ones while maintaining a job and managing daily affairs.”

“Trauma is treatable,” said Maines, “and our grant from Family Life Fund will make it possible for our clinicians and therapists to address and treat the trauma rather than simply treat the symptoms. We are grateful to the Family Life Fund for their support.”

The Sweet Gesture Fundraiser hosted by Family Life Fund was led by WTAE’s Andrew Stockey. The evening included a VIP reception for event sponsors, a delicious three course dinner with wine pairings, an auction and casino games courtesy of Elite Casino Events.