San Diego Center for Children 129th Anniversary Celebration.

Experiencing the rush of excitement from flying high on a playground swing. Hearing the crackling of marshmallows toasting by the campfire. Feeling the ocean waves and cool breeze on a summer day can all be instant familiar childhood memories for many.

However, in other cases, these are distant realities for the over 1,000 children and families who are served each day by the San Diego Center for Children. Unfortunately, their childhood memories are shadowed by pain and confusion. Sometimes, abuse and neglect. No child should ever feel they are a failure, feel unwanted, be ridiculed for a mental illness or developmental disability. No child should ever be robbed of experiencing the joys of childhood.

In an ideal world, children and families should live joyful and healthy lives. This is the vision of the San Diego Center for Children and a goal its dedicated employees, volunteers and Board of Trustees strive for every day.

On June 2, 2016, at The US Grant, the San Diego Center for Children will toast to the Joys of Childhood at its 129th Anniversary Celebration. The evening will raise important funds to continue bringing hope and healing to children and families who are experiencing behavioral, emotional and mental health struggles. For it is only when a child can be relieved of the pain caused by mental health disorders that the experience of a joyful childhood can begin.

Over 300 guests will begin their evening of celebrating the Joys of Childhood through a fun and playful cocktail hour. A three-course dinner, live auction and inspiring performance by children served by the San Diego Center for Children will follow in the Presidential Ballroom.

This year’s Anniversary Celebration Committee is chaired by Doreen Schonbrun and Gwynn Thomas. Their leadership and the collective dedication from committee members will drive the San Diego Center for Children to accomplish its fundraising goal of $300,000. Event proceeds will support the San Diego Center for Children to continue its life-changing services through eight locations and hundreds of homes across the county.

Although children and families may not arrive with positive memories when they begin their therapeutic treatment, they soon experience and discover they can have happy lives and promising futures. A team of 300 therapists, counselors, behavior specialists, skills trainers and child advocates serve as the backbone for the San Diego Center for Children’s successful Continuum of Care model.

All ages in the community can access exceptional therapeutic services through this innovative model regardless of their level of health needs, income or insurance provider. Services may include psychological assessments, outpatient and school-based therapy, autism therapies, specialized education, life skills and parent training, family and group therapy, foster care, transition services and residential treatment.

Children and families who are helped by the San Diego Center for Children come from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds. Despite differences or shared commonalities, each person receives care that is strength-based, child and family focused and culturally relevant.

As the oldest children’s nonprofit in the region founded in 1887, the San Diego Center for Children is a leader in garnering results and changing lives through its superior therapeutic programs and services. The San Diego Center for Children is accredited for its excellence in quality of care standards by The Joint Commission, California Alliance of Child and Family Services, and accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC) for its privately-operated nonpublic school.

To attend or sponsor this historical evening of festivities, please contact Warren Johnson at (858) 634-8346 or wjohnson@centerforchildren.org