All Star February 2024 Newsletter

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February 2024

Welcome to the February edition of the All Star Children's Foundation newsletter! As we embrace the month of love, we are feeling the warmth and compassion radiating throughout our community. At All Star, love isn't just a sentiment; it's the driving force behind everything we do. From providing evidence-based mental health services to offering foster parent support and training, we are dedicated to building brighter futures for children and families in foster care through innovation, science, and above all, compassion. Join us as we celebrate the power of love in transforming lives and making a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Photos are from last year’s Valentine’s Day Dance. We had a DJ, pizza, a photo booth, dessert, and lots of dancing!


r e t s Fo ve Lo

is in the Air at All Star! The kids are feeling the love, and so are we! We are kicking February off with Foster Parent Appreciation Week! We have so much gratitude for the foster parents on our campus and beyond who make children’s lives better by creating a safe space for them in their homes and their hearts. The effects of the type of love that the kids are shown here at All Star by foster parents and staff manifests itself in many ways - and sometimes art is the best way to show your love! Last week, one of our All Star kids presented Graci, All Star’s founder, with a handmade piece of art that touched us all. The artwork was an acrostic spelling, “ALL STAR - Always Loved Live Secured Talented Adored Remarkable.” The thought and time put into this work of art was palpable! The message on the back was equally as beautiful. “For Ms. G, Thx you for making All Star! I don’t know what will happen to me and my sisters if we weren’t here!” Tender moments like this remind us why we do what we do and why it is so important to keep advocating, supporting, and providing love to our children who need it most.

Learn more about Fostering at All Star

Spotlight on


Specialized trainings offered for adults caring for children.

All Star has been on a mission to elevate support for children and families who have experienced trauma by offering a range of impactful training programs aimed at adults and professionals committed to serving children. In 2023, our clinicians held trainings for over 470 adults working directly with children and families in capacities ranging from direct mental health providers to Guardians Ad Litem (GALs). In collaboration with Sunshine Health, All Star hosted specialized training sessions for Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB). Renowned trainer Roy Van Tassell, MS, LPC-S, the director of Trauma and Evidence-Based Interventions for Centene Corporation, led these sessions. The organization opened its doors to over 60 professionals from across the nation, offering these invaluable training opportunities free of charge.

All Star held its first EMDR Learning Collaborative, focusing on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a therapeutic approach proven effective in addressing trauma. This modality seeks to enhance the skills of professionals in applying EMDR to support those impacted by traumatic experiences. All Star's commitment extends to Guardian Ad Litem and group home trainings, equipping adults caring for children who have undergone trauma with hands-on knowledge and skills. GALs play a crucial role in the advocacy and healing of traumatized children.

Overheard at All Star

Where was All Star when I was a foster parent?! Autumn McConnell ASCF Gala Chair

ASCF Chief Program Officer Dr. Kristin Hoffman leading GALs in a trauma-informed exercise.

All Star still feels the love after our first Twinkle Ball last November The sold-out event drew over 300 guests, raising an impressive $600,000 to support All Star's mission of transforming foster care for children and their families.

Co-chairs for the Inagural Twinkle Ball from L to R: Autumn McConnell, Terri Klauber, All Star founder Graci McGillicuddy, and Lisa Jackson.

Watching Sofie Jay and Hadara Porter perform “When you Wish Upon a Star.”

Happy Birthday, Graci! Presenting Graci with a birthday cake and wishing her a fabulous year!

Biva Divas, longtime friends of Graci and All Star looking fabulous! Michael’s on East Ballroom was lit with twinkling stars and beautiful decor. Amy & John Hoskins celebrating during the live auction.

End of the night celebration!

ASCF Founder Graci McGillicuddy with ASCF CEO Denise Marzullo.

ASCF Chief Advancement Officer Stephen Fancher with his daughters.

Campus Happenings

Here are some of our most cherished moments from 2023 and 2024 All Star is proud to have sponsored the PINC Conference in collaboration with DreamLarge and Ringling College of Art & Design. PINC brought the Sarasota community together around the ideas of People, Nature, Science, and Community. The speakers wove together stories of triumph over adversity and trauma and illustrated the resilience of the human spirit.

From L to R: (a) Chelsea Hernandez, ASCF Clinical Director speaks about trauma and its lasting effects on the brain ; (b) The PINC stage at Sarasota Opera House; (c) Rob Scheer, founder of Comfort Cases speaks about his life as a former foster youth.







From L to R: (a) Reps. Daniel Perez and Fiona McFarland visit All Star Campus; (b) Doug, our campus caretaker loading toys from the Sarasota Sherrif’s Office Toy Drive; (c) Santa visits our kids at All Star; (d) Holiday cookie decorating; (e) Petr Korda donates clothing and shoes to our campus; (f) Living127 makes a generous donation of toilitries and household goods to our campus; (g) Terri Klauber joins the All Star Board of Directors; (h) The Laughlin Tanner Group makes a significant donation to All Star.




TOURS You can feel the love too! Join us for our Third Thursday Tours

Our Third Thursday Tours offer a unique opportunity to get an up-close look at the incredible work we do. Meet our dedicated team, learn about our innovative programs, and see firsthand how we create a nurturing environment for children. Whether you're a long-time supporter or new to our cause, this event is perfect for anyone who wants to make a difference in a child's life. So mark your calendars for the Third Thursday Tours @ All Star and join us for an inspiring hour that will touch your heart and leave you with a sense of hope and joy. Don't miss out on this chance to be a part of something truly special!

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