Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis & Dallas First Responders Honored at Spirit of CONTACT Luncheon

On Thursday, March 27th CONTACT Crisis Line honored Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, the first-grade teacher from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, with the 18th Annual Spirit of CONTACT Award held. Kaitlin received national attention following the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook, for keeping her students safe by guarding them in a school bathroom. Her message was "Everyone has a crisis in their life and I decided not to be defined by the crisis, but by my Hopefulness and Resiliency after the crisis."   At the inspiring event held at Hilton Anatole Hotel, Kaitlin was interviewed by Dr. R. Gerald Turner, President of Southern Methodist University. Calvert Collins, FOX TV anchor served as the MC of the luncheon.
Gail Turner, Dr. Gerald Turner, Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, Leigh Anne Haugh
In addition to Ms. Roig-DeBells, CONTACT recognized and honored our local first responders, including Dallas Police Chief David Brown and the Dallas Police Department, Dallas Fire Chief Louie Bright III, the Dallas Fire and Rescue and Dallas 911 Dispatchers who help save lives every day. Honorary Chairs were Marla and Mike Boone and Leigh Anne Haugh served as the Event Chair.
Chiefs Brown and Bright escort Kailtin Roig-DeBellis
This annual luncheon is CONTACT's largest fundraiser of the year. "The Spirit of CONTACT event is a tremendous benefit to CONTACT. It serves not only as a fundraiser, but also as a chance for us to interact with and thank the people who dedicate their time and money to helping us serve the Dallas community," said Benaye Rogers, President of CONTACT.
 
The luncheon successfully raised $266,000 this which included the proceeds from the 100 Mary Kay sponsored Hope Boxes which contained special gifts from sponsors that sold at $100 each.
Dallas First Responders with CONTACT President Benaye Rogers, Dr. Gerald Turner, Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, and Leigh Anne Haugh
CONTACT answers nearly 40,000 calls per year, with 1,500 of these being suicide interventions. Additionally, the agency makes more than 15,000 referrals to other DFW metroplex resources and educates more than 15,000 teens, teachers, counselors and parents about depression, suicide, bullying and dating violence. For additional information about the Spirit of CONTACT Luncheon please contact Alexandra Sizemore at 972.233.0866 or asizemore@contactcrisisline.org .

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