October 6th, 2022, was a magical evening for the Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina (CLC) and their 290 guests at Speak Up for Children, held at the exceptional back lawn and greenhouse of Dr. Gary Poehling and family. Dr. Kathy Poehling, his daughter, serves as CLC’s Board Chair. Supporters from across the Triad learned more about how CLC’s attorneys advocate for the best interests of children in family domestic violence cases and high-conflict custody matters, help reduce the negative effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and provide a voice for the silent victims in these situations. Guests celebrated the power of making children’s voices heard and increasing the CLC’s capacity to “Speak Up” for every child experiencing trauma.
Laurelyn Dossett served as the host/emcee, welcoming everyone by singing Strand of Pearls, and sharing her commitment to working with domestic violence survivors of all ages. Penny and Bill Spry were the Honorary Event Chairs. Speak Up for Children Committee Co-Chairs were Mimi Bennett, Dawn Nelson and Abigail Seymour. Kilpatrick Townsend, a strong partner since CLC’s founding, was the Presenting Sponsor.
The program speakers included Retired Forsyth County Chief District Court Judge Lisa Menefee and Guilford County Family Justice Center Director Catherine Johnson. Jim Gallaher, Children’s Law Center Staff Attorney and former Board Chair, gave the passionate keynote address sharing his personal commitment to the community’s children and the impact CLC made in the life of a young client suffering from multiple traumas, including one parent with mental illness, the other incarcerated and his own fears of returning to the foster care system.
Attorney Lorraine Mortis presented Valerie Thompson with the Outstanding Volunteer Award for her 8 years of services in many aspects of CLC’s work and fundraising events. Kilpatrick Townsend Managing Partner Steve Berlin presented NC IOLTA with the Outstanding Supporter Award. Family Law Attorney and IOLTA Board of Trustees Chair Shelby Benton accepted the award.
Guests enjoyed the music of the jazz trio Theme Changes, and the delicious food prepared by Holly Tate Fine Catering. Village Tavern and Dr. Sarah Shoaf and Alan Miller donated the wine served during the evening. A silent auction and raffle engaged CLC’s friends in person and virtually.
“Speak Up for Children 2022 was the Children’s Law Center’s best event yet! It was a thrill to see almost 300 people safely gathered outside who wanted to join us in positively impacting the safety, security, and futures of the youngest victims of trauma. I am so grateful to each of our sponsors, supporters, Board of Directors and dedicated staff,” said Executive Director, Iris A. Sunshine, J.D.