COLUMN: Annual gala raises money for AWF

Published 10:54 am Thursday, March 19, 2020

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By BRIANA H. WILSON / Staff Writer

One of the reasons I love my job so much is because I get to write about a lot of worthwhile events, and the Angel Warriors Foundation’s annual fundraising gala, A Night for the Angels, is definitely one that I won’t soon forget.

I felt like I stepped back into the 1920s on Saturday, March 7, when I attended the gala. The theme was “Let’s roar into 2020” and guests were encouraged to wear Great Gatsby-inspired attire, and let me tell you, the crowd did not disappoint. There was no shortage of ladies wearing fringed and sparkly sequined dresses while the men wore suspenders and fedora hats. Feathered center pieces and sequin table cloths completed the look.

But more important than the aesthetics of the evening was its purpose. The Angel Warriors Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Alabaster that provides support to individuals with special needs or multiple medical disabilities and their families. the gala is the organization’s primary fundraiser, and serves as a celebration of the local special needs community.

The event included dinner, a silent auction, charity blackjack and craps tables, a performance from students in Battleground Martial Arts’ special needs program, music by Thompson High School’s jazz band and remarks from individuals and families who have benefited from the services provided by AWF.

AWF President Jamia Alexander-Williams said more than 100 families throughout the greater Birmingham area are served by the organization every year. The gala typically raises $3,000 to $5,000 for the organization per year. The proceeds go toward funding annual programs hosted by the AWF, such as an Easter egg hunt, AWF 5K, summer camp, fall fest, Sensory Santa and much more.

Not only does this organization provide opportunities for individuals with special needs that they otherwise might not get to have, but it provides an outlet for typically-developed children and teens to volunteer their time helping others.

Alabaster City Schools Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers attended the event and praised Williams, who is also on the Alabaster Board of Education, for her dedication to making sure all kids in the community are supported.

I believe Vickers said it best, Williams “represents what it means to be a champion for all children.”