This year’s virtual Fall Fete honored our community of heroes—the children, adults, and families who weathered the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic and are paving their way forward towards achieving their personal goals. Special celebrations spanned the month of October with three mini events leading up to our large virtual gala held on October 27, and totaled nearly 1,000 views across all four events!

Our mini events provided an inside look at the work being done by The Foundling and celebrated our courageous community as they found strength and resilience amid the challenges they’ve experienced this year. The Foundling’s Legacy of Adoption paid tribute to those who helped create our longstanding legacy; Cooking With Mark Bailey provided guests with an exclusive cooking program and taught viewers how to prepare a delicious seasonal dish of sausage pasta with pumpkin parmesan sauce; and our Fireside Chat provided a meaningful conversation about this past year between Foundling President and CEO Bill Baccaglini, ACS Commissioner David A. Hansell and other special guests.

Our Fall Fete grand celebration was hosted by author and NY1 news anchor Cheryl Wills, who shared messages of perseverance, strength, and the importance of The Foundling’s work across the community. Among out featured stories, viewers were inspired by Rodney, a teenager in our Developmental Disabilities program and his eagerness and energy to participate in Camp Felix at Home.

And our guests met Denisha, a young woman in our supportive housing program who shared these words when reflecting on what it meant to finally find her own apartment and a dream job as a teacher:

“I don’t want being a foster child to define me. I want to define what it means to be in foster care. That this is not it. Things will get better if you trust your goal.”

Others who found ways to stand strong through the pandemic included Gianni, who faced homelessness and wasn’t sure he’d be able to continue plans to stay in school. Gianni remarked:

“The Foundling saved my life. I have a stable place to call home and now see myself going to a four-year college.”

The evening included a performance by Haven Kids Rock and the night was made extra special through video messages from Michael Conforto of the New York Mets, Judge Michael Corriero, NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan, Prom Series co-founders Cabernet Burns and Tori Murphy, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan of Catholic Charities, and more.

Thank you to our generous supporters and our Fall Fete Host Committee! In total, we received nearly $550,000 that will support The Foundling’s vital programs and services. These funds will go directly to uplifting our heroes and supporting the tremendous work they do each and every day.

To watch any of the events from Fall Fete, please click on the links below.

The Foundling’s Legacy of Adoption

Fireside Chat with Bill Baccaglini

Cooking With Mark Bailey

Fall Fete