CBS46’s Jennifer Valdez, Teresa Rivero of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ivan Shammas of Univision Atlanta, Peter Williams of BlackRock Atlanta and Bentina Terry of Georgia Power invite you to celebrate Families First honorees during its annual evening of cocktails and conversations at Dining for a Difference on Thursday, May 12. 

This year the Families First Board of Directors, volunteers, advisory groups, staff and clients are excited for you to join them in congratulating: 

  • Wendy Stewart, President, Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America who will be honored with the Community Impact Award 
  • Kevin Greiner, President & CEO, Gas South who will be honored with the Social Equity Award: 
  • Dallas Smith, Founder & CEO, T. Dallas Smith & Company who will be honored with the Making a Difference Community Service Award
  • Mary Yates, Community Advocate & Families First Supporter who will be honored with the Montag Family Volunteerism Award 
  • Patricia Whatley Showell, Community Leader & Families First Supporter who will be honored with the Legacy Award

After two years of adjusting to the trials of the Covid-19 pandemic and connecting online with virtual events, Dining for a Difference and its co-chairs plan to make a big splash at the Georgia Aquarium. 

“Families First is absolutely exuberant to finally gather in person to advance our mission and celebrate these outstanding community leaders,” said DePriest Waddy, CEO of Families First. “Their advocacy, experience and support have assisted enormously in our efforts to build upon our 130+ year history and become even more effective in strengthening families. We’ve embraced significant developments in behavioral health to affect better outcomes, coordinated resources at an unprecedented level and charted client roadmaps that are motivated by expert guides. We not only buffer families to survive the bumps ahead but equip them with the tools to thrive.” 

To sustainably address family traumas and help children, parents and guardians become resilient when facing challenges, Families First has intentionally adopted breakthrough counseling methods. While expanding its partnerships Families First will ensure families in crisis get the continuum of care they need to thrive, today and for generations to come. The funds raised through Dining for a Difference are integral to breaking barriers to equity that challenge Georgia’s most vulnerable communities. Presenting sponsors of Dining for a Difference include Georgia Power and Gas South. Additional sponsors include Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Publix Charities, Verizon, and The Home Depot.

What to do: Mark your calendar for Thursday, May 12. Join emcee and CBS46 Chief Meteorologist Jennifer Valdez and the Families First Dining for a Difference event co-chairs Teresa Rivero of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ivan Shammas of Univision Atlanta, and Peter Williams of BlackRock Atlanta, along with Honorary Chair Bentina Terry of Georgia Power. Tickets may be purchased here or email to learn more about sponsorship and ways to get involved. Dining for a Difference is part of Families First’s “Equitable Communities Create Resilient Communities” Event Series designed to connect and engage Atlanta and beyond around social equity, diversity, and inclusion and the power of resilience to create equitable communities.

View the flyer here:


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