Fair Chairs Sarah Semple and Amanda Valentino put their spin on the activities of the Edgewood Fair’s The Last Days of Disco. J. Riccardo Benavides of IDEAS brought the theme to life with his glitzy décor. Each year the fair is attended by hundreds of San Francisco’s socially active business and civic leaders. For two-days the disco themed celebration, silent auction and retail marketplace, raised hundreds of thousands which will go on to support the organization’s families in need through the year. Since its establishment in 1967 over $7 million has gone to support over 7,000 children and families.
The sit down luncheon on the second day is always a sell out occasion. Author of A Chance in the World, Steve Pemberton was the guest speaker this year. His story is one of triumph over adversity and shines a light on the need for organizations like Edgewood. Their behavioral health, family support, and educational services help build a safe environment and home away from troubled homes. Christine L. James-Brown, CEO of the Child Welfare league of America, regards Pemberton’s book as “a powerful reminder of the complexity and urgency of the work we must do to keep our children safe, healthy and happy.
Today Pemberton is a world away from the once displaced orphan and then victim of child abuse and neglect. He is currently the Divisional Vice-President, Chief Diversity Officer at Walgreens. For him, success was a matter of understanding that a person's past and future do not need to mirror each other. Through all his pain, Pemberton beat the odds. The exclusion he endured as a youth has helped shape the unique sensitivity beneficial to his current corporate role.
Check out the Hot Shots slideshow to see moments from the event
All the best – Moanalani Jeffrey