Bright Beginnings Announces Some New Beginnings of Its Own

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Dr. Betty Jo Gaines (Executive Director), Colleen Conroy (Board Member), Sally Wells (Award recipient) and Maria Estefania (President of the Board of Directors)

It’s impossible to stop caring about children once people fall in love with helping them out, says Maria Estefania, President of the Board of Bright Beginnings, a 24 year old benefit program that has been making a lasting difference in the DC community.  And on the cusp of its silver anniversary, Estefania, the Board, and staff made a commitment to keep caring… while also announcing some critical changes.

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Councilmember Elissa Silverman and Marc Eisenberg

At the organization’s Champions for Children Award Ceremony, executive director Dr. Betty Jo Gaines announced that the charity plans on building a second family development center (at a projected cost of $7.5 million) for homeless infants and toddlers so that can have access to educational benefits and become ready for kindergarten.  This new center, when built, would offer more room for children who are on the waiting list, like the 200 (largely homeless) children and their families already waiting for much needed assistance.

And if those grand plans weren’t enough, Bright Beginnings also announced a brand new partnership with the Kiwanis Club which involves an infusion of 500,000 dollars towards the organization in a five-year period.

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Ruth McKey (member of the Board of Directors), April Gassler (Vice President of the Kiwanis Club in Washington DC) and Brian Egger (Kiwanis Club member)

Among the notable guests making an appearance at the event and lending their support to Bright Beginnings’ work were assistant superintendent of early learning Elizabeth Groginsky, DC councilmember Elissa Silverman and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). Norton, who received an award, told guests that the recent birth of a grandson made her that much more aware of the circumstances that children are born into…  and that she renewed her desire to lessen the effects of unequal opportunities that appear from birth:  “His chance in life is made the moment he came into this world.”

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