Rowayton, CT
September 27, 2023

The 2023 Center for HOPE Luncheon co-chaired by Janet Cling, Erin Gaudreau, Ashley Reid and Emily Stern.  More than $190,000 was raised to support Center for HOPE and The Den for Grieving Kids, Family Centers’ programs offering counseling and support to residents of lower Fairfield County coping with a loss, a critical illness or life-altering circumstance. 

Emmy-winning journalist and best-selling author Luke Russert opened up about the impact his father’s sudden death had on his life during his keynote address at the Luncheon.  The event was held at the Wee Burn Beach Club in Rowayton.

Using humor and lessons learned from his three-year cross continental travels, Russert shared how the loss of his father – Meet the Press’ Tim Russert – shaped his life.   He also stressed the important roles programs like The Den for Grieving Kids and the Center for HOPE play in guiding people through their personal journeys with grief.

The 2023 Annual Luncheon celebrates the 30th anniversary of The Den for Grieving Kids.  Since 1993, The Den has provided a safe, caring place for children, teens and families to explore their feelings about the loss of a parent, sibling or other family member and begin the journey toward healing.  Services are offered at no cost, and groups are facilitated in Greenwich and within several schools across Fairfield County.

Family Centers presented the Junior League of Greenwich and Greenwich Country Day School with the Ray of HOPE Award for their roles in establishing The Den.  The Junior League founded the Den in 1993 and ran it for three years before asking Family Centers to take it on as one of its programs. Greenwich Country Day School generously donated meeting space and gave The Den a home during its first three years.   

Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering health, education and human service programs to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. More than 280 professionals and 500 trained volunteers work together to provide more than 24,000 residents with a holistic, wrap-around approach to care. Family Centers is Joint Commission accredited in Ambulatory Health Care, Behavioral Health Care and Human Services.  Family Centers’ Early Care and Education programs are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the agency is licensed by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. Visit for additional information.