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Save the date for our 34th annual
Make Them Shine Gala!

This event is a celebration of our mission and life changing services.
Proceeds will fund critically needed early intervention for thousands of families across the community.

Because every child deserves the chance to shine.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

McNamara Alumni Center

Registration and ticketing information will be available in January 2023.

For immediate questions, please email Betsy Rogers at

Thank you to our 2022 sponsors!

For more information on sponsoring our 2023 event, contact Maureen Walsh, Chief Advancement and Strategy Officer, at

Meet Kai

For most children, nightmares fade upon waking. For four-year-old Kai, however, deep-seated fear was
something that he carried with him into the real world. When Kai was three, a terribly traumatic
experience impacted him profoundly. While sleeping at daycare, he was struck by a two-by-four wielded
by his daycare provider’s boyfriend—a blow intended for his caregiver—and then witnessed brutal
violence against her.

While Kai’s physical wounds healed, his emotional scars did not. After the incident, he experienced
severe separation anxiety, feared sleeping alone, and regressed developmentally. Triggered by sightings
of men who resembled his assailant, he would become hysterical and inconsolable.

Familiar with St. David’s Center through services received by their oldest daughter, Kai’s parents’
decision to reach out was a natural one. Now, after two years of family and occupational therapy at the
Harman Center, Kai is making great strides—learning to trust again when his parents can’t be right at his
side and discovering how he can control his body. “I feel more optimistic now and confident that he’s
going to succeed,” affirms his mom.

To help light the way for thousands of children like Kai, consider attending or donate today.


Meet Natalie

Natalie Demko has defied the odds literally from the moment of her birth. During her otherwise
uneventful pregnancy, at 32 weeks, as a result of a detached placenta, Katie was rushed into surgery.  By
the time doctors were able to deliver Natalie, she had been without oxygen for at least seven minutes.
At two pounds, 15 ounces, she was placed on hospice, fearing she would not survive the night. But
survive she did, and a new chapter of care and treatment began to help Natalie reach her full potential.
For Katie and her husband Neil, they are sure she’ll reach all her goals “on Nattie time.” “To see her
being an integral, essential part of the classroom—and that’s because of the way that St. David’s is set up—it makes me realize that so much more is possible than I had even thought of.”

To help light the way for thousands of young people like Natalie, consider attending or donate today.

There are many ways to attend. Registration opens January 2023.

  • Table Purchase: Seating for up to 10 guest at the event  
  • Individual Tickets: Seating for individual tickets at the event 
  • Virtual Registration: Participate in our Silent Auction and stream our event live

Registration for our 2023 gala will open in January. If you are interested in volunteering for our event please email Betsy at

At St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, we rely on more than 500 volunteers annually to support our mission-driven work through a variety of hands-on volunteer opportunities. Our Make Them Shine Gala is our largest volunteer event of the year, and your time and talent are crucial to creating an event that will raise over $600,000 for our organization.

With your help, we will be able to reach more families across Minnesota, with services in children’s mental health, parental support, early childhood education, and early intervention. When you volunteer at St. David’s Center, you make a lasting impact.


The wellbeing of our guests, volunteers, and event staff is our top priority.

We will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health, and adhere to the COVID policies issued by McNamara Alumni Center.

For questions, please email Betsy Rogers at


General Information & Volunteers

Betsy Rogers
Events Manager

Email Betsy by clicking here

General Information & Volunteers


Maureen Walsh
Chief Advancement and Strategy Officer

Email Maureen by clicking here


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