Dear Cope Supporters and Partners,

JG linked inI am excited to let you know that I have just accepted the role of Executive Director with First 5 Napa County (effective April 17th). Although a piece of my heart will remain with Cope, I look forward to the opportunity to have a broader impact on the lives of children and families in Napa County.

I am also thrilled to announce that effective April 1st, Michele Grupe, Cope Associate Director, will assume the role of the Cope Executive Director. Together, Michele and I have led Cope through an amazing growth period, and I am exceptionally proud of our accomplishments and our extraordinary team. As supporters and colleagues, you are an integral part of our success, and I thank you for your encouragement, enthusiasm, mentorship, camaraderie and commitment to our community.

Under Michele’s leadership, Cope will continue to provide families with quality services, partnering with you, community agencies, business leaders and our elected officials to assure that families have the resources they need to raise happy, healthy children in safe and loving environments.

I am confident that our paths will continue to cross as I represent First 5 on committees and collaboratives across Napa County that are working to improve health and safety in our community. Our continued partnership on these important issues is important to me.

I invite you to reach out to Michele or me, if you have any questions, as we move through this brief period of transition.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Joelle Gallagher

45th Anniversary Celebration: Laugh Lounge 45 with Mike Birbiglia

Looking for a fun way to support Cope in 2017? Attend our 45th anniversary celebration, Laugh Lounge 45¸ on May 13th.

For 45 years, Cope Family Center and Aldea Children & Family Services have worked together to provide essential parenting, family support and mental health services for thousands of Napa Valley families. The two nonprofits are collaborating once again in a joint 45th anniversary celebration that’s guaranteed to be a memorable evening. Thanks to presenting sponsor Nova Group, Inc., comedian, writer, actor and director Mike Birbiglia will headline at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at the Lincoln Theater on May 13th, 2017 at Laugh Lounge 45, a benefit show celebrating two Napa nonprofits’ 45 years of service.

This memorable evening will kick off with an exclusive VIP Reception, dinner and auction, followed by a hilarious comedy show with Mike Birbiglia. Following the show, guests have the opportunity to attend the Laugh Lounge 45 After Party. The after party will include DJ Jake Lake, dancing, Napa Valley wines, and cocktails. For more information about Laugh Lounge 45 and the After Party, visit www.tinyurl.com/LaughLounge45. General show tickets begin at $65; VIP dinner and show tickets begin at $250. All proceeds will benefit Aldea and Cope.

Birbiglia is known for his one-of-a-kind storytelling style in the world of standup comedy. Time Magazine calls him “master of the personal, embarrassing tale,” and The New York Times describes him as a “supremely enjoyable monologist.” Birbiglia has been critically acclaimed for numerous shows including “My Secret Public Journal Live,” “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” and his most recent show, “Thank God for Jokes.” He can also be seen as Danny Pearson in Orange is the New Black, as well as Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck, The Fault in Our Stars. See Birbiglia online at www.birbigs.com and at twitter.com/Birbigs.

Laugh Lounge 45 is the first joint anniversary celebration and fundraiser for the two Napa-based nonprofit organizations. Founded in 1972, both agencies began working to address the growing need for child abuse prevention and mental health services in the Napa Valley. Although much has changed over the last 45 years, both agencies continue to work together to better support their communities’ needs, serving over 10,000 families annually.

“The partnership between Aldea and Cope makes sense because we serve many of the same clients but offer complimentary services,” Aldea Executive Director Mark Bontrager notes. “Both agencies want to ensure families in our community are healthy and strong,” he continued. Joelle Gallagher, Executive Director of Cope, agrees adding, “What better way to celebrate 45 years of collaboration and improving the lives of those in our community than with incredible Napa Valley food and wine, friends and laughter?”

A Tale of Christmas Cheer

Your support in 2016 enabled Cope to host a special holiday party for the children and families we serve!  Our AmeriCorps team member, Carina, gave this heartwarming description of that day…

“The holiday party was free for children and their families in the community. Healthy food and different activities such as, face painting, cookie decorating, and arts and crafts were available so that families could spend time bonding and creating memories. Even the big man himself “Santa Claus” made an appearance! The children and their families were eager to take photos with him. Overall the event was a huge success with over 150 attending!

I was at the arts and crafts station; it was amazing creating art with all the children and families that stopped by. Everyone was excited and happy to be there. It felt so warm and welcoming. Many of the families come to Cope in the midst of a crisis, but on that night there were no tears or fears. For that moment there was only joy, laughter and the holiday spirit that brings the community together.

“Many families come to Cope in the midst of a crisis, but on that night, there were no tears or fears. For that moment there was only joy, laughter and the holiday spirit that brings the community together.”

Parents and caregivers were given easy craft ideas that they could do at home with the materials they already have. They were so eager to bond with their kids and get creative. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of the memories and special moments that were created that day. ”

– Carina

Times Change, Cope Remains

Two-thousand and seventeen is the beginning of Cope Family Center’s 45th year of service to the Napa community. In 1972, a child died at the hands of a parent, prompting a group of community members to organize to prevent another tragedy by supporting parents. At that time, Richard Nixon was our President, and our nation was facing the biggest political scandal in modern times, namely, the start of Watergate. The average price of a home in California was $28,810 and the Volkswagen Beetle became the most popular car ever sold.

Much has changed since our inception. In 1972, HP introduced the first scientific handheld calculator for $395. Atari introduced Pong. Remember that? The first video game bounced a ball back and forth across your TV screen in a perpetual game of table tennis. Today, we carry smartphones. We shop, communicate, coordinate, and compulsively connect with family, friends, co-workers, and strangers all over the globe.

In 45 years, many things have stayed the same. Parents struggle raising their children. Families live in poverty and have trouble putting food on the table and a roof over their heads. Women still don’t receive wages equal to their male counterparts, and people of color and those who identify as LGBTQ suffer the ignorance of racism and homophobia.

At Cope, we have never wavered in our commitment to protecting the most vulnerable among us, especially our children. Just as in 1972, we provide a listening ear, a supportive shoulder, and a hand up to parents, helping them build upon their strong commitment to their families. How do we do this? The old-fashioned way, by creating trusting, nurturing relationships that hold individuals in a safe, nonjudgmental space, where they can grow into the best version of themselves.

In the spirit of this holiday season, I want to thank you, our most ardent supporters. Now, more than ever, we must coalesce as a community to create a web of support for our families and children. I am confident that together we can ensure that the Cope spirit will live on in the hearts and minds of the children whose lives we touch today.

Happy Holidays,

Joelle Gallagher, Cope Executive Director