AC/DC singer Brian Johnson and his wife Brenda have a celebrated place in rock's pantheon. Their philanthropy is also well known. Case in point? The Johnsons recently donated a property to All Star Children's Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming foster care through innovation, science, and compassion. According to Stephen Fancher, All Star's chief development officer, the organization sold the property for net proceeds of $335,000.
"Over the past two years, All Star has received a remarkable outpouring of support from Brenda and Brian Johnson, and other committed, caring people," says Fancher. "Their extraordinary gifts have made a world of difference."
The Johnsons' personal commitment to All Star began with Graci McGillicuddy, All Star's co-founder and board chair. Two years ago, McGillicuddy and her husband, Dennis, shared All Star's mission with the couple. They dreamed of creating a safe place for children who've suffered abuse and neglect. These children would find a nurturing environment — and a haven for healing, offering the latest trauma-focused therapies. The Johnsons were touched and vowed to make that dream come true. In the years that followed, many others joined the fight.
Thanks to this overwhelming community support, All Star has nearly completed its Sarasota-based "Campus Of Caring," which includes a state-of-the-art center for trauma-focused clinical services. The campus also features six foster family homes that provides children who have experienced abuse or neglect, ages 0-18, with a nurturing, family-style home environment and comprehensive, trauma-sensitive treatment. Siblings will be kept together, and parents and caregivers will also be offered a range of innovative services. All Star also serves children in the region's child welfare system and their families on an outpatient basis.
"Dennis and Graci will make these children believe in angels — because that's what they are," says Brenda Johnson.
"They have brought a community together in a common cause to help children who have grown up in unpredictable households where violence and neglect may have occurred," adds Brian Johnson. "There is no greater good than what they have achieved in building the All-Star Children's Foundation campus, and Brenda and I are honored to be a part of it."
"We are so grateful to Brenda and Brian," says Graci McGillicuddy. "We're preparing to open our campus to children very soon. Raising funds is so important in this crucial time — and they’ve taken us leagues closer to making this dream a reality."
All Star Children's Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the effects of trauma suffered by children who have been abused and transforming foster care through innovation, science, and compassion. All Star's campus, located at 3300 17th St, in Sarasota, is a nurturing community consisting of a clinical treatment center; six family foster homes and inspirational green space featuring a playground, gardens and a clubhouse. Working with research experts from Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, this innovative approach will be researched and evaluated in order to develop models that can be adopted by foster care systems around the state and country. This project has been partially funded under an agreement with the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families.
For more information, visit www.allstarchildrensfoundation.org.
Photo courtesy of All Star Children's Foundation