Annual Fundraising Luncheon Features Stories of Love, Courage & Resiliency


MESA, ARIZ (September 27, 2018) – Child Crisis Arizona welcomed more than 500 guests to its annual Lunch for Love fundraising luncheon on Wednesday, September 26, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.

“We are pleased to announce that our Lunch for Love fundraising event surpassed our $500,000 goal,” said Torrie Taj, Child Crisis Arizona CEO. “This event is an integral piece of our fundraising strategy and provides for operations, future growth and sustainability.”

Lunch for Love provides an opportunity for Child Crisis Arizona’s board members and major donors to invite friends and colleagues to learn more about the organization’s mission and vision, and hear stories about the impact the agency’s prevention, intervention and education programs have on children, families and the community. The event was sponsored by The Bidstrup Foundation, Talking Stick Resort, General Dynamics, Jaburg Wilk Attorneys at Law, and Ford Motor Company.

Board Chair Doug Diehl set the tone for this inspirational afternoon by talking about the bravery and resiliency he’s witnessed when meeting children who have suffered from abuse and neglect.

“We must, and we will, continue to be courageous and build the support systems and programs to help children and our clients because every single child matters,” said Torrie Taj as she expressed Child Crisis Arizona’s commitment to doing more for Arizona’s most vulnerable children.

Child Crisis Arizona provided 78,000 nights of safety to children just this past year through its Emergency Children’s Placement programs. The Phillips and Yoder families, two of the hundreds of families who have been brought together through the agency’s Foster Care and Adoption program, shared their personal stories about how their lives were forever changed when they opened their hearts and homes to children in need of safe place to call home.

Marge Komar talked about her experience being a foster and adoptive parent. She adopted Evan and Dustin, who had lived in Child Crisis Arizona’s Emergency Children’s Shelter when they were young, and later adopted their biological sister Amanda. In a moving and poignant testimonial, Evan Komar said, “I have a deep gratitude for the role Child Crisis Arizona played in bringing my family together.” He added, “Without them, I am uncertain where I would be today, or if my siblings and I would even be together.”

Last year, Child Crisis Arizona provided high-quality educational services to 302 children and their families through its Early Head Start and Preschool programs. Sumaya Gonzalez, a domestic abuse survivor whose daughter was in the Child Crisis Arizona early education program for five years, shared how the program staff provided services, guidance and support that empowered her to rebuild her life, start a career, and create a hopeful future for her daughter.

“I do all of my work for my daughter,” Sumaya Gonzalez said. “For me to be strong, successful and to be good to the community … I have hope, this hope that you guys bring me has made me believe I can do it.”

As Child Crisis Arizona embarks on its fifth decade of service to our community, the agency is focused on expanding its programs, especially its prevention and early education programs, to ensure its vision of “Safe Kids…Strong Families.”

“We hope you were as humbled as we are on a regular basis to witness such courage and resilience in children who face the most difficult odds. The strongest hearts indeed have the most scars,” said Torrie Taj. “As an organization, we will continue to grow our service to children and families, and help them shape and reshape their traumatic life stories into tales of triumph, healing, dignity, love and compassion.”

About Child Crisis Arizona
Since 1977, Child Crisis Arizona has served the Valley’s vulnerable children and families and is committed to preventing child abuse and neglect through prevention, intervention and education programs. Child Crisis Arizona offers emergency shelter for children, foster care and adoption services, home visitation services, Early Head Start and Preschool education programs, as well as community-wide parenting classes, workshops, children’s playgroups, support groups and more. More information is available at or (480) 834-9424.


Photo credit for all: Colleen Katz Pictures in Pixels Photography