November 5, 2018—On November 3, 2018, SCAN hosted its 16th annual Toast to Hope gala at Springfield Golf and Country Club. The annual fundraiser raised a record-breaking $160,000 in critical funding for SCAN’s child abuse prevention programs, and was especially poignant this year as the organization celebrates three decades of work protecting children and supporting families across Northern Virginia.
“This is an exciting moment in SCAN’s history,” notes SCAN’s Executive Director Leah Fraley, who joined the organization in July. “We’re celebrating 30 years of positive impact on the children and families of Northern Virginia, but we also have the opportunity to strategically plan for our future and how we will work to do even more for a new generation of families in our community.”
More than 250 people attended the event, which was sponsored in part by Wells Fargo, Custom Ink, McEnearney Associates, and the Mason Hirst Foundation. Lead individual sponsors included Robert Yager, Dave Cleary, Joe and Sara Carlin, and Peter and Donna Cuviello.
In addition to a 30thanniversary tribute given by SCAN Board alumni Jeff Bliss in honor of SCAN’s founder Dave Cleary, guests also enjoyed the presentation of the 2018 Cleary Award to a surprised Kelly Harbitter, SCAN volunteer, donor and supporter. Following the presentation of the award, both Kelly and Parent Education volunteer Yolonda Thompson spoke about their experiences working with children and families through SCAN.
“When I came to SCAN, I participated because I wanted to change my life and I wanted to help other parents to parent on purpose,” said Yolonda. “SCAN allowed me to learn not only how to do it for myself, but how to share that gift with others. I am proud to say that I have had parents come in and say with tears in their eyes, “I have been to many programs, but none touched me like this one.’”
About the 2018 Cleary Award Winner
Kelly Harbitter first connected with SCAN as a volunteer advocate with SCAN’s Alexandria/Arlington CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Program in 2012. Drawn to SCAN’s mission because of her own desire to promote the well-being of children, she completed the 32-hour intensive training to become a CASA volunteer and was sworn in on May 22, 2012. Since being appointed to her first case in the Alexandria Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court six years ago, Kelly has served 14 children in 6 different families, giving almost 900 hours of her time to advocate for these children and make reports and recommendations to the judges who decide the children’s future services and placements. Her most recent (and longest) case lasted two and a half years, and Kelly’s tireless advocacy helped to provide stability in the lives of the children and ultimately reunify their family.
“Being a part of SCAN and the CASA program has been the most fulfilling part of my life,” offered Kelly. “What CASA volunteers do so well is figure out what children really need…These children have a chance at life. When we give kids a chance, when they are free from abuse and neglect they can shine. When they have a safe and permanent home they have a chance to succeed.”
In addition to her service through CASA, Kelly has been active with SCAN’s Speaker’s Bureau, helping to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and the vital role that a caring adult can play in the lives of vulnerable children. Kelly and her husband, Alan, are also generous donors of both time and financial support to support SCAN’s mission.
About SCAN of Northern Virginia
We believe child abuse and neglect can be prevented.
For three decades, SCAN of Northern Virginia has been working throughout the region to develop effective prevention programming for all children and families, no matter what their circumstances. Our vision is a community where every child has the opportunity to grow up in a safe, stable, nurturing family, with the supports the child needs to thrive today and contribute to stronger communities tomorrow.
Thanks to our donors, partners, and volunteers, we are living our mission and promoting the well-being of children, improving parent-child relations and preventing child abuse and neglect by educating the community about the scope, nature, and consequences of child abuse and neglect and the importance of positive, nurturing parenting; providing direct parent education; and advocating for children in the community, the legislature and the courts.
Learn more at www.scanfamilies.org