Voices for Children Announces 2018 Foster the Future Annual Gala Keynote Speaker



Jasmine D. Evans, Voices for Children Community Engagement Manager
314.853.9957 | jevans@voices-stl.org

Schron Y. Jackson, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Public Information Manager
314.444.5603 | syjackson@slmpd.org


ST. LOUIS [March 28, 2018] – Voices for Children is pleased to announce that Colonel John W. Hayden, Jr., newly named Commissioner of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, will deliver the keynote address at its 2018 Foster the Future Annual Gala. Hayden will address this year’s theme “A Chance to Dream” alongside event emcee Laura Hettiger, News 4 This Morning Traffic Reporter.

Appointed Commissioner on December 28, 2017, Colonel Hayden, a 30-year veteran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, rose through the ranks from patrolman to commander. He manages the second largest police department in the State of Missouri with an authorized strength of more than 1,300 sworn officers and over 400 civilian employees. Colonel Hayden is responsible for overseeing an annual budget of $170 million, a third of the city’s budget.

“There is no more fitting way to celebrate this year’s event than by hearing from Commissioner Hayden, a true community servant,” said Steve Moergen, Executive Director of Voices for Children. “Commissioner Hayden represents a much-awaited change in our community and we are excited for him to challenge attendees to boldly imagine and explore the happenings over our region’s most vulnerable and often forgotten youth through this year’s theme, A Chance to Dream.”

Ticket sales and pre-registration for the event, which will be held in Chase Park Plaza’s Khorassan Ballroom on April 20, are now available. Voices’ signature event attracts nearly 400 annual attendees who come together for an evening of fun and philanthropy in the name of the more than 1,600 fostered youth in St. Louis City and County. 

“It is an honor and privilege to serve as the keynote speaker for this years’ gala. I look forward to using my voice and platform in advocacy for Voices for Children, said Colonel John Hayden, Police Commissioner. “All too often, officers interact with children who have no voices. We often have to be the voice for the voiceless.”

This always-popular event is the single largest annual fundraiser for Voices and supports the important work of representing the best interests of children in foster care in court and in the community. The evening includes a cocktail reception, raffle, seated dinner, keynote speaker, entertainment, and fund-a-need auction. Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the drama club of Westminster Christian Academy, who will be performing songs and scenes from their spring musical ‘The Wiz.’

To register or learn more about this year’s Gala, visit our website at voices-stl.org/gala. Individuals and businesses interested in sponsorship or ticket sales please contact Ally Bartholomew at abartholomew@voices-stl.org. Media wishing to apply for credentials please contact Jasmine Evans at jevans@voices-stl.org or call 314.853.9957. 

About Voices for Children
Voices for Children (voices-stl.org) advocates for abused and neglected children and youth in St. Louis by representing their best interests in court and in the community. Voices child advocates identify and expedite needed education, health and mental health services and progress towards a safe, stable, permanent home. The result: children are given hope and a voice – the difference starts today and can last a lifetime. Voices is a member of the National CASA Association and the United Way of Greater St. Louis.

About the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
Protecting, serving and assisting citizens since 1808. Just five years after St. Louis became part of the United States, the city’s first police force was organized. Although comprised of only four men, it served the settlers well. Today, it is the second largest police department in the state of Missouri with more than 1300 sworn officers who are called upon to perform various types of services for the citizens of St. Louis. Officers patrol in customized police vehicles and have at their disposal the latest equipment in police technology, including cameras, computers and miniature radios.     


Beth Fultz