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HURRICANE — G.L.A.M. Gala, one of the biggest local fundraisers to benefit Mission West Virginia, is scheduled to take place in person on Friday, Feb. 11.

A formal women-only charity event, G.L.A.M. Gala has become known as the “ultimate ladies’ night out that combines fun and philanthropy.” It features dancing, food, drinks, silent auctions and raffles. A large-scale event, G.L.A.M. Gala is typically attended by more than 200 women.

Now hosted by the Moms on A Mission group (formerly known as the MOMS Club of Teays Valley) in close partnership with the Mission West Virginia itself, the G.L.A.M. Gala will be raising funds for foster care needs for the third year in a row. Although the 2020 event had to be canceled due to the pandemic, the group was still able to raise a record amount of $18,000 through donations and an online auction.

Mission West Virginia is a non-profit organization that provides support and services to children in foster care, and was been selected to become the permanent beneficiary of the G.L.A.M. Gala charity event back in 2019.

The official data shows that there are currently more than 7,000 children in foster care in West Virginia, which is a more than 50% increase since 2016. West Virginia also has become a No. 1 state nationwide in child removals. Organizations like Mission WV, which rely heavily upon grants and donations, work with local communities to recruit foster and adoptive families, helping them through the process and serve the needs of children and their caregivers. Within their ability they provide the children with life-skills education and basic items, like luggage, clothing, and school supplies. Programs that help children realize their talents and aspirations also exist. But as the demand for foster care grows, so does the need for community’s support.

“Now more than ever before, we need people to step up and help in their communities. Our kids and families are in crisis, and the donations permit us to respond to the challenges we see on a daily basis,” says Kelly Thompson, the Mission WV executive director. “The Moms on A Mission members have demonstrated year after year just how big of an impact a small group of people can make in their community. They have touched hundreds of children and families through their hard work and generosity. We are happy to be working more closely alongside them to this year as co-host of this event for 2022.”

According to Kylee Hassan, a MWV’s FrameWorks division marketing director, funds raised and donated from the G.L.A.M. Gala have helped answer the immediate needs of children in foster care and provide caregivers essential items for their home.

“We have been able to purchase personalized bedding for these children so that they can have something they love to bring them comfort while they are transitioning in foster care. The items we are able to buy thanks to donated funds bring children joy and a sense of safety,” said Hassan.

The funds also help provide enriching opportunities that many children otherwise miss out on, like dance, art and karate lessons, summer camps, field trips, sports and scouts.

For more information about the G.L.A.M. Gala event, go to www.facebook.com/GLAMgalawv. For donations and sponsorship, contact GLAMGalaEvent@gmail.com.

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