ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Children Awaiting Parents continues to help children seeking adoption find their forever homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lauri McKnight, the Executive Director of Children Awaiting Parents, discussed the challenges her organization faces the the excitement around an upcoming fundraiser Wednesday during News 8 at Noon.

“This year has been a very challenging year with the pandemic,” said McKnight. “It has had an effect on the agency as a whole and more so on the children who are waiting in foster care for the families that we’re trying to place them with. Placements were halted for a time during the COVID shutdown and children who have been waiting the longest in the system, there’s been a barrier actually and they’ve been held up from finding those forever families.”

The ‘Home, Heart, and Harmony: Around the Table – Food From Your Family Tree’ gala will be held at the Comedy at the Carlson on Friday, November 6. “We have had to come up with a hybrid experience for our annual fundraiser,” McKnight explained. “What that looks like this year is a virtual gala with an in-person live event as well as all virtual auction items and entertainment. We will have emcees Scott Spezzano and Sandy Waters from 98.9 The Buzz. We’re so excited to have them with us! There will be virtual entertainment from Paradigm Shift – if you’re not familiar that’s a soul jazz trio, from Prime Time Funk which is a 10-piece horn driven powerhouse band, and from Bob Sneider – guitarist with a guest. You’ll also have live auctions to bid on.”

McKnight said the proceeds from the gala will support Children Awaiting Parents in a number of ways. “This is why it’s so crucial to have a fundraiser every year in November in the National Month of Adoption because these funds that we raise help to find those forever families for our children who are waiting so long in care. It assists with the visitation process and the trips that the families take to meet those children. It also assists with all of the training that we must provide for every family, which is a state mandate. So Children Awaiting Parents still counts a lot on donations and fundraising.”

To join the fun on November 6 and help local children find their forever homes, visit