More than 400 people came together to raise money for Centers for Children and Families at its 20th anniversary Centers Stage fundraiser on Aug. 12.

The Havana Nights gala included support from various corporations, foundations and individuals in the area and raised more than half a million dollars, breaking a record for the annual event.

Each year, two founders awards are given to outstanding individuals in our community. The 2022 recipients of the Mary Elizabeth “Ibby” Whitaker Hardie Award were Cindy & Homer Daniels. They were recognized for their exceptional philanthropy within the Permian Basin. The 2022 recipients of the Harriet Herd Founders Award were both Jay Hendricks and Steve Taylor. Hendricks, the beloved KOSA news anchor, has emceed the Centers Stage event for the past 20 years.

Taylor, a well-renowned local auctioneer, has worked together with Jay in live-auctions for countless non-profit organizations throughout the Permian Basin. Each honoree has been transformational in their help not only to Centers for Children and Families, but to the community as a whole.

In past years, the event centered around a speaker. This year, the organization decided to take a different approach. “Recognizing that we are all a bit overwhelmed by news stories and world events, we decided to give people a space to celebrate a joyful moment with their friends and neighbors” said Melanie Saiz, Marketing and Development director. The evening included a Rare Whiskey Raffle, Cork Pulls, Live Auction Entertainment by the Cowboy Auctioneers and the high-energy Mélange band.

Kristi Edwards, CEO of Centers, shared her gratitude for the outpouring of giving. “Our therapists and staff work diligently to provide quality mental health services to our community.”

Centers for Children and Families (