The City Sentinel

Center of Family Love sets Fifth Annual Gala, honors Bishop Slattery and CFL founder Loosen

Darla Shelden Story by on June 11, 2018 . Click on author name to view all articles by this author. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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Staff Report

The Center of Family Love and the Oklahoma Knights of Columbus will host the 5th Annual Gift of Love Gala on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 6 p.m. at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. This event benefits residents of the Center of Family Love who live with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Located in Okarche and founded in 1981 by the Oklahoma Knights of Columbus, the Center of Family Love, has empowered hundreds of adults with disabilities to live productive and meaningful lives. The Center provides the most innovative educational, vocational and residential programs in the nation, pioneering new approaches in the field of disabilities, and recognized in Oklahoma as a thought-leader and model community.

The Center of Family Love provides homes and careers for 130 residents with proven high quality services for people who live with physical and neurological disabilities, including: cerebral palsy, autism, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, development delays, spinal injuries and intellectual disabilities.

“The Center of Family Love is truly the Catholic Church at work. The enthusiasm and faith of the staff and residents are truly inspirational,” said Father Brian O’Brien of St. Francis Xavier after saying Mass at Oklahoma’s first Blessed Stanley Rother Chapel located on the campus of the Center of Family Love.

“I can’t wait until my next visit. I’ve heard about the Center of Family Love for years but truly saw the amazing work they do when I visited a few months ago. It is a place of joy, compassion, and Christ! The pro-life work of the Catholic Church is central to our mission as a people. This organization is an outstanding witness to that work!”

The Gift of Love Gala is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Center of Fam- ily Love, raising over $677,000 last year with approximately 700 people in attendance.

“The funds raised at the Gift of Love Gala enable us to provide a lifetime of happiness, self-respect, dignity, and love for God’s most vulnerable children,” said Center of Family Love CEO, Debbie Espinosa.

“We cannot thank our supporers enough for partnering with us in this endeavor. Their support will impact generations of people who live with special needs. On behalf of the residents of the Center of Family Love, I am proud to be their voice and thank you for all that you do for them.”

This year the Center of Family Love will honor Most Rev- erend Edward J. Slattery, Bish- op Emeritus of the Diocese of Tulsa, who will receive the organization’s Carol & Bill Brown Outstanding Community Ambassador Award and Patricia Loosen, co-founder of the Center of Family Love and long-time advocate for those with intellectual disabilities, who will receive the Harold J. Wittrock Humanitarian Award.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception where guests will have an opportunity to mingle, enjoy various chances to pull elaborate gifts, which include a Kendra Scott jewelry pull and a Scotch & Bourbon pull. The reception will be followed by dinner; entertainment provided by residents of the Center of Family Love, cash raffle drawings, live auction, and topping the evening off with dancing and entertainment provided by Wade Tower. This year’s emcee will be Malcolm Tubbs, On-Court Emcee for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The ticket price for the event is $175.00 per person or $1,750 for a table of ten, and sponsorship opportunities are still available. If you or your company would like to be a supporting sponsor, please contact Nellie Sanders at To register for the event you may do so online or call 405-263- 4658 x1042 for more information.

Your support changes lives and this is a great way to make an impact for those who live with intellectual and physical disabilities.

The Center of Family Love’s mission is to provide quality lifetime care to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Bishop Emeritus Edward J. Slattery, Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma. Photo provided.

Bishop Emeritus Edward J. Slattery, Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma. Photo provided.

Pat Loosen. Photo provided.

Pat Loosen. Photo provided.

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