Saratoga After Dark: Saratoga Center for the Family’s ‘Power of Hope’ Dinner

Event was hosted by Longfellow's Restaurant on April 27.

Gina Flynt, Kelly Dougherty, Paula Zimmerman, Tracy Gilbert, Diane Parrish, Pat Koval, Jessi Townsend, Jason Gough, Nicole Iwaniec, Krista Johnson, Jennifer Wormley , John Kelly, Rebecca Baldwin and Sharon Kline. (Cathleen Duffy)

Longellow’s Restaurant was the scene of a bustling celebration of hope and family support on April 27, as Saratoga Center for the Family put on its annual “Power of Hope” dinner.

“April has been National Child Abuse Prevention Month since 1983, and while we at Saratoga Center for the Family are working with this issue year round, we see it as an opportunity to shine a light on an issue that is sometimes difficult to speak about,” said Sarah Kline, director of development for Saratoga Center for the Family. “It may encourage a parent to have a discussion with their child, lead a victim to seek help, or inspire the compassion and support of the surrounding community.”

WNYT Meteorologist Jason Gough, a survivor of abuse, was guest speaker.

“When someone like Jason makes the brave decision to come forward and share their story, it directly combats the stigmas associated with child abuse and its survivors,” said Rebecca Baldwin, executive director of the center. “He paves the way for those hiding in the shadows to come forward and seek help, and eventually to heal.”

Reducing the effects of abuse, trauma, and family dysfunction is the mission of Saratoga Center for the Family, which offers mental health counseling, victims’ services and advocacy, and educational and preventative programming regardless of families’ ability to pay.

“Celebrating the Power of Hope is about expressing our gratitude to the professionals we work with, to our partners in the community, and for the support we have been shown for over 40 years,” said Kline. “Mr. Gough spoke eloquently about his own experience as well as the importance of bringing abusers to justice, and we are so grateful for his support and willingness to share his story.”

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