After president and founder of Chances for Children, Kathi Juntunen, went on a trip to Haiti with her husband Craig in 2005 she returned to Arizona deeply impacted by the level of poverty experienced by young children.
Mrs. Juntunen and her husband adopted three children from Haiti 10 years ago, but that wasn’t enough and she decided to create Chances for Children. The organization has since opened an orphanage in Haiti, created a feeding program, opened a pediatric medical clinic, started a vocational program for young adults, and formed an adoption program.
To help further that effort, Chances for Children is hosting its 5th Annual Night of Hope held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12.
Chances for Children also wants find ways to keep children with their families, and created a works program that employs 45 women with jobs making jewelry and sewing — upping these women’s average income of $2 a day to $150 a month.
Night of Hope is the organization’s main source of revenue. Last year the event raised a record $300,000, but they hope to raise more money this year to continue to fund and grow their current programs, and to create new ones as well.
“We currently have 2,800 children in our feeding program, but would like feed as many hungry children as we can,” said Mrs. Juntunen. “Hopefully with the funds we raise at this year’s Night of Hope we’ll be able to feed 3,500 children next year and expand some of our programs so that we can help these kids to have a better future.”
Former MLB player and current ESPN baseball analyst Aaron Boone will serve as the evening’s Master of Ceremony. Mr. Boone and his wife, Laura Cover, adopted two children from Chances for Children.
On the evening of Friday, Nov. 11 and the morning of Saturday, Nov. 12 Chances for Children will also host an event for families with children adopted through their program at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The children get to reconnect with others adopted from Haiti and participate in cultural classes, where the children can learn more about their heritage.
Tickets for the charity dinner are $150 per ticket for adults and $50 each for children under 12.
Go to Chances4Children.org.
The Scottsdale Independent is available for free every Wednesday.