The 2018 Children Awaiting Parents/Donald J. Corbett Adoption Agency’s Heart Gallery Luncheon will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 27 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 E. Main St., in time for National Adoption Month.
Keynote speaker is Christina Baker Kline, author of “Orphan Train.” Inspired by real events, Kline’s novel personalizes the experiences of some of the 200,000 orphaned, abandoned and homeless children transported through the Children’s Aid Society from East Coast American cities to train depots throughout the Midwest. The children were hoping to be taken into a loving home and family. The results were often mixed.
“We are thrilled to have Christina Baker Kline as our keynote. There are distinct parallels between the inner turmoil and emotional impact felt by ‘Orphan Train’ children and the loneliness and uncertainty that foster youth currently experience while they wait for their forever family,” said CAP/Corbett Executive Director Lauri McKnight.
The fundraiser assists prospective parents to afford the adoption process and helps create or expand a family, as well as provides programs and services that recruit, train and support foster and adoptive parents. Luncheon tickets are $75 per person; $45 for students, teachers and seniors; $750 per table or $1000 per table sponsorship. Tickets can be purchased at bit.ly/2JcLWPL or by calling (585) 232-5110. Ticket purchase deadline is Nov. 21, and sponsorships are available and welcome.
The luncheon also will feature a Founders’ Award presented to adoptive parents and adoption mentors Peggy and David Soule. Peggy and David were founders of CAP Book Inc.; Peggy became the first executive director until her retirement in 2000.
During the event, attendees will be able to view an “After the Ride” display depicting variations on how the Orphan Train children lived once they found a new home.
Kline noted that she gets letters from readers of “Orphan Train” who can’t believe America ever sent children on trains across the country.
“I always say that while the circumstances may be different, many children in foster care today have the same mix of feelings as the children on those long-ago trains: hope, dread, a sense of abandonment,” Kline said. “I hope my novel inspires empathy, kindness and social action.”
CAP/Corbett sponsors are Feminists Choosing Life of New York, Cascio Malone Family Fund, Park Grove Realty, MRB Group, DiMarco Group, Jesse Lucas/ Riverside Productions, St. Ann’s Home, MGM Associates of Rochester, Wegmans Food Markets, McQuaid Jesuit, Cobblestone Capital Advisors, KeyBank, RP Lefrois Builders Inc. and other individuals.