The 5th Annual Evening To Give Thanks

In November, we hosted our 5th Annual Evening to Give Thanks! We gathered at Linwood’s to celebrate our accomplishments with our donors and thank them for their constant support.

Each year, we are honored to present three awards to some very special people. The Sherman Mission Maker award was created to honor a donor whose support has had a lasting impact on The Family Tree. Our 2023 Sherman Mission Maker Award was presented to Earl and Darielle Linehan. From almost the beginning, Earl and Darielle have been steadfast supporters of TFT.  They understand the challenges our families face and have seen firsthand the difference that just one caring and compassionate person can have on a family struggling. Their leadership and support have allowed us grow as an organization and have lasting impact on the wellbeing of children and families in our community. You have stood by us during the ups and downs over the last few years, providing critical support that allows our organization to deepen our impact and help more families.

The Pat Kirk Volunteer of the Year Award was created to honor a dedicated volunteer who has worked tirelessly to advance TFT’s child abuse prevention mission. Our 2023 Pat M. Kirk Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Ellen Brinkley. For decades now, Ellen Brinkley has been a driving force behind The Family Tree’s messaging.  A staunch advocate for our work.  Always focused on how we can more effectively and efficiently share our story. At our Great Chefs’ Dinner, she is always thinking of new and creative ways we can make the evening memorable.  She always makes her visions come to life when it comes to décor and ensures everyone leaves the event knowing the importance of our mission.   We know we can always count on Ellen to step up and offer her assistance with any project. She has been a valued member of our Marketing Committee.  Always pushing us to think differently, try a new approach to achieve excellence.

The Meyerhoff Public Service Award was created to honor a government or elected official that has demonstrated an unfailing dedication to Maryland’s children. Our 2023 Meyerhoff Public Service Award was presented to Chairman Will Smith. Chairman Smith played a crucial role on the passage of the Child Victims Act of 2023, ending the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse. We have been with you in this fight for more than two decades because the statute of limitations has enabled perpetrators to remain hidden and institutions to ignore the problem. The passage of this bill is justice for survivors and Maryland’s Children. We are so thankful for your leadership, persistence, and commitment. Chairman Smiths lifetime of work supporting survivors is an inspiration to us all.

These individuals have worked tirelessly to Maryland a stronger community! We are so thankful for their dedication to our cause. It was an incredible night of food and friendship.


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