Families, Friends, Future Gala

Friday, April 5, 2024 | JFK Library, Columbia Point, Dorchester

Honoring the founding partners of Comfort Kitchen:
Kwasi Kwaa, Rita Ferreira, Nyacko Pearl Perry, and Biplaw Rai

Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts invites you to an evening in celebration of the nurturing warmth of community. Our annual gala celebrates our impact with families throughout Boston and raises critical funds for our four areas of focus: parenting education; early childhood development programs; coalition and community building; and training and capacity building across the Commonwealth.

This year we proudly honor the founding partners of Comfort Kitchen Boston. Named one of the New York Times’ 50 Best Restaurants in America and Boston Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in 2023, Comfort Kitchen’s visionary “global comfort food” celebrates the African diaspora connected from Asia to the Americas, while building community in our central neighborhood of Dorchester. 

We are also delighted to present the Phyllis Menken Family Nurturing Award to longtime FNC supporters Guli, Sara, and Shergul Arshad. We welcome back WCVB Anchor Antoinette Antonio as our event emcee.

Sponsorships are available now; Individual tickets will be available for purchase by early March. To learn more about how you can take part in this memorable evening, contact Valerie Bean, Director of Development, at vbean@familynurturing.org or 857-220-2613.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Lead Sponsor | $75,000

  • Three complimentary tables of 10
  • Sponsor spotlight on social media outlets
  • Recognition and presentations from stage, night of event
  • Dinner for 6 at Comfort Kitchen

Champion | $50,000

  • Two complimentary tables of 10
  • Sponsor spotlight on social media outlets
  • Recognition and presentations from stage, night of event
  • Dinner for 4 at Comfort Kitchen

Sustainer | $25,000

  • One complimentary table of 10
  • Sponsor spotlight on social media outlets
  • Recognition from stage, night of event

Nurturer | $15,000

  • One complimentary table of 10
  • Sponsor spotlight on social media outlets

Patron | $10,000

  • One complimentary table of 10

Benefactor | $5,000

  • Six complimentary tickets

Supporter | $1,500

  • Two complimentary tickets

All sponsor levels receive:

  • Acknowledgement of support and logo on website and in pre-event emails
  • Acknowledgement in event program and logo on a multimedia display during the event

Host Committee

Lindsay & Blake Allison
Kathy Baynes | President, Boston Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Head of Diversity Recruiting, Fidelity Investments; FNC Board Member
Mary Kate Bluestein | FNC Board Member
Zoltan Csimma | Nonprofit Board Member/Executive Advisor
Michael Douvadjian | Boston Collective Group, Morgan Stanley
Taran Grigsby | Global Lead, Transactions and Leasing, Fidelity Investments; FNC Board President
Bill Haynsworth & Anne Hyde | FNC Board Member & Supporters
Ekua Holmes | Mixed-media artist; Community Arts Advocate; FNC Gala Honoree, 2023; Founder, Roxbury Sunflower Project
Irene Li, Annie Campbell, & Alyssa Lee | Mei Mei Dumplings
Phyllis Menken | FNC Board Member
Catherine T. Morris | Director of Arts and Creativity, The Boston Foundation; Founder and Artistic Director, Boston Art & Music Soul Festival
J. Keith Motley, Ph.D. | Chancellor Emeritus/Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston
Ken & Céline Oringer | UNI, Toro, La Coppa, Little Donkey, Faccia a Faccia
Carmin Reiss & Eric Green | Principals, Resolutions, LLC
Amy Rossman | Executive Director, Rodman for Kids
Linda Sallop | CEO, Atlantic Charter Insurance Company
Anne-Marie & Ben Ullian | Eliot Hotel
Dora Ullian | Proprietor, Eliot Hotel

About Our Honorees

Nyacko Pearl Perry, Biplaw Rai, Rita Ferreira, and Kwasi Kwaa are the founding partners of Comfort Kitchen—a Black-owned, woman-owned, immigrant-owned restaurant with an inspirational vision.

Comfort Kitchen celebrates diasporic cuisine, while creating good jobs for Bostonians and nurturing the community through food.

The founders’ collaborative approach to fostering social change embodies Family Nurturing Center’s own ethos. In its first year, the restaurant was named one of the Top 50 Restaurants in America by the New York Times, as well as Boston Magazine’s Best New Restaurant of 2023.

Guli, Sara, and Shergul Arshad have all supported Family Nurturing Center’s work from its earliest days. With a deep commitment to families raising children in challenging circumstances, these three members of the Arshad family have advised on strategies, hosted countless meetings and events, raised funds, and served on FNC’s board of directors. Together, they bring a wealth of wisdom and resources to FNC, and it is our pleasure to present them with the Phyllis Menken Family Nurturing Award.


We are so grateful to the following individuals and organizations for their support!

Lead Sponsor | $75,000

  • Dora and Arthur Ullian

Sustainers | $25,000

  • Carmin Reiss and Eric Green

Nurturers | $15,000

  • Anne Hyde and Bill Haynsworth
  • Phyllis Menken
  • Anna Whitcomb and Samuel Knight
  • Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation

Patrons | $10,000

  • Michael Douvadjian

Benefactors | $5,000

  • Anonymous
  • Lindsay and Blake Allison
  • Jen Bluestein
  • Mary Kate and Richard Bluestein
  • Laura Conway
  • Cristina and Zoltan Csimma
  • Skadi Gidionsen and Taran Grigsby
  • Linda Sallop
  • Anne Marie and Ben Ullian

Supporters | $1,500

  • Anonymous
  • Julie and Robert Blake
  • Janet Boguslaw and Howard Kaufman
  • Monty Curtis
  • Jeff and Molly Goodman
  • Toby Gordon and Lad Tobin
  • Katharine and Daniel Nakamoto
  • Orthopedics New England
  • Rick and Gitte Shea
  • Jay and Gretchen Stein
  • Emma Tobin
  • Gayle and Bob Wexler

About Family Nurturing Center

Through parenting education, early child development programs, coalition and community building, and training and capacity building, Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts (FNC) partners with families and organizations to create nurturing environments where children can thrive.

Our work is rooted in a deep understanding that parenting is learned and can radically shape a child’s future. Our team engages over 5,000 children and caregivers in Boston and trains more than 1,000 providers across the Commonwealth each year.

Image Credits: Stefanie Belnavis (Comfort Kitchen founder images); Rita Ferreira (Comfort Kitchen images & branding); Randi Freundlich Photography (past Gala images); Jocelyn Finlay (Arshad family)

Main FNC Address: 
200 Bowdoin Street, Dorchester, MA 02122 (617) 474-1143
Skip to toolbar