$65,000 were raised by the Center for Alexandria’s Children at its annual CAC Gala Feb. 27 at the Old Dominion Boat Club. It also honored community philanthropist Brooke Sydnor Curran and Inova Health Systems FACT Director Mary Hale. Hale received the 2020 Outstanding Dedication to Alexandria’s Children Award and Curran was honored with the 2020 Champion for Children Award. According to www.connectionnewspapers.com, "The Center is the city’s only Child Advocacy Center and provides a safe haven and professional help for abused and neglected children. Additionally, it offers programs that strengthen families through its signature Learn & PlayGroup program and community training to empower adults to protect children." Center Board Chair Kerry Donley in bestowing the awards said, “Mary and Brooke are emblematic of the impact we can have in the lives of our community’s children. Brooke has envisioned a future where all of Alexandria’s children, regardless of their background or circumstance, are able to succeed in school and life as happy, healthy individuals. We are grateful to be a beneficiary of Brooke’s efforts to uplift children’s lives.” As per www.connectionnewspapers.com, "Of the funds raised at the Gala, $12,000 will be earmarked to create the Center’s 10th Learn & PlayGroup. Primarily funded through private donations, the popular PlayGroup program fills a void for children ages 0 to 5 years and their caregivers. Founded in 2007, the Center for Alexandria’s Children provides comprehensive services to children who have reported abuse. It has expanded its scope to include prevention, education and outreach programs aimed at eliminating child abuse within the community through training programs and the specialized Learn & PlayGroup program aimed at strengthening families."