Poignant Luncheon Highlights Needs of Families in the Foster-Care System, Encourages Keeping 'Arms Wide' Open

Jenny Antill
Poignant Luncheon Highlights Needs of Families in the Foster-Care System, Encourages Keeping 'Arms Wide' Open

Whitney Laird, Sarah Barrett, Justine Klinke

AT THE ANNUAL Arms Wide luncheon, the spotlight shone brightly on the importance of providing guidance and support to families pursuing foster care and adoption.


The event was held at the Briar Club and emceed by Frank Billingsley, who shared his own story of adoption. The keynote speaker, former Cincinnati Bengals player Gaelin Elmore, also spoke about the importance of finding self-love and belonging throughout experiences within the foster-care system. Arms Wide, formerly called Arms Wide Adoption Services, took the opportunity during the luncheon to announce its new brand, which includes the tagline "Preserving and Fulfilling Families" to reflect its dedication to ongoing needs of participants in the foster-care system.

One of the foster moms benefiting from Arms Wide's services, Chiara Phan, shared how her family has found joy in fostering and remains committed to the cause, even during uncertain times.

Those in attendance included notable Houstonians like Chita Craft, Nina Altuve, Kristy Bradshaw, Julie Longoria Chen, Brooke Bentley Gunst, Kate Stukenberg, Leslie Pitts and Lyndsey Zorich.

Alex Ochoa, Daniella Hernandez, Nina Altuve, Jayne Johnston

Stephanie and Scott Sanders

Allie Veselka and Michelle Holcomb

Shayla Meeks, Pinda Romain, Tiffany Nichols

Alyssa Kilpatrick and Allison O'Neill

Audrey White, Fady Armanious, Camille Connelly

Beezie Sayers and Genna Evans

Shannon Kinney, Scott and Jennifer Allison

Chita Craft, Melodie Kentshire, Leslie Pitts, Jill Bomar

Nicole Katz and Margot Athon

Colleen Difonzo-Lewis, Heather Safi, Rae Solberg

Mike Mahlstedt and Kate Stukenberg

DeJuana Jernigan, Gaelin Elmore

Lindley Arnoldy and Maria Johnson

Ina Riley, Kelley Scofield, Marie de Limelette

Kristy Bradshaw and Brooke Bentley Gunst

Sydney Eifler, Peggy Ealand

Joanie McLeod and Eryn Ebaugh

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