Grands As Parents, Inc. (GAP) celebrated its 20th anniversary at the organization’s annual awards luncheon on Sept. 15. The event, that also celebrated National Grandparents Day, was held at Temple University’s Diamond Club in North Philadelphia.
The message from GAP president Eileen Brown was compelling. Brown stated, “In Pennsylvania over 80,000 grandparents/caregivers step up to the plate to care for 164,354 children 18 and under. Within the state, there are 1.2 million informal caregivers. With all of this being said, we, at Grands as Parents, Inc., remain committed to supporting the families and acknowledging our valued supporters.”
Dr. Arthur C. Evans Jr., Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), was this year’s keynote speaker. Evans has been an instrumental and consistent supporter of GAP. He offered congratulatory, encouraging remarks in support of GAP’s mission to, “Bring the plight of relative caregivers to the attention of state officials at welfare reform hearings. We continue to fight for consideration for the work and responsibilities of relative caregivers who become parents a second time around.” The organization’s motto is,”Help a Child Keep a Smile.”
Recipients of GAP’s 2015 “Help a Child Keep a Smile” awards were Congressman Robert Brady, Pa., 1st District; Angel Luis Medina, executive director of the Philadelphia Prevention Partnership; Linda Richardson, president and CEO of the Uptown Entertainment Development Corporation; and Sandra Shea, editor of The Philadelphia Daily News editorial page.