[su_quote]…she (my mentor) kind of replaces a lot of people who should have been there for me.[/su_quote]

On June 4th, over 300 people helped AFC raise $170,000 for youth in foster care.  Match is such a fun and joyful occasion – but the real reason for Match and the highlight for everyone who attends is honoring and celebrating the resilient young people AFC serves.

Match had a LOT to offer this year: food from top restaurants and chefs including Alma Nove’s Paul Wahlberg and Post 390’s Eric Brennan, some truly exciting silent auction items, and two very impressive honorees — but I think we can all agree that the real celebrities that night were AFC’s youth and mentors.

There’s no way you could forget seeing Karen accept the “Power of Two” award honoring our mentor match of the year for her dedication to mentee Kyidea.  You may have seen AFC youth Andrea and Eric learning from culinary presenters who are generous not only with tasty treats, but also with their time.  And, of course, you’ll remember AFC youth E.J.’s amazing speech.

AFC Youth E.J. gives a speech at Match 2014.

AFC Youth E.J. speaks at Match 2014.

E.J. is an 18 year old who participates in both AFC’s one to one mentoring program and AFC Leaders’ Learn & Earn initiative, all while playing on a very successful softball team and graduating from high school!  E.J. has been matched with his mentor Yvonne for over a year.  At Match, E.J. talked about the important role Yvonne has played in his life.  She is the person who always shows up to watch his softball games and debate team events, and the person who taught him it’s okay to be himself.  Before Yvonne, not many people in E.J.’s life had made that kind of commitment.  E.J. said that Yvonne “kind of replaces a lot of people who should have been there for me.”

That’s the main reason we throw our annual Match party.  We want you to have the chance to hear from the young people we interact with each day.  We want you to see the huge impact your support has on young people in foster care.  We want to celebrate that impact and work together to do more.

Thank you for helping to make Match, and, more importantly, AFC’s programs, possible.  We are so grateful to the many people who make Match a reality, including our fantastic co-chairs Melanie Damsker Camp and Josh Chalmers and event host committee, generous sponsors, restaurants, and donors, volunteers, and, of course, guests.  We hope to see you again at the AFC Summer Social, which will take place on July 30th at The Brahmin in the Back Bay.