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Press Release: “Encompass Virtual Autumn Gala – The Power of Us – Brings the Community Together for Children & Families”

November 17, 2020  |  Press Releases, Community, News and Announcements  |  By Encompass


North Bend, WA – On November 7th, the Encompass Autumn Gala, The Power of Us, took place in a new venue – YouTube. A record 500 people came together not in a ballroom, but in the comfort of their own homes to raise funds for support of Encompass programs for children and families.  

Mark Schenfeld, left and Tatevik Aprikyan, right, hosted the event live on YouTube.

Hosted by Mark Schenfeld of Stokes Auction Group and Tatevik Aprikyan of Q-13 Fox News, the hour-long program featured a live auction,  an inspiring family speaker video, a tribute to a 20-year educator, and more.  

Executive Director Nela Cumming and Encompass Board President, Tavish MacLean, took the virtual stage, thanking, donors, supporters and staff while highlighting Encompass’s pivot into the virtual world.  

“We have been super creative and engaging, and have been providing services throughout the pandemic through virtual means, like telehealth and also some in-person services as well,” said Nela Cumming.  

Encompass family speakers, LuvLee Molander and Erich Flaker shared their story of how Encompass supported their family as their son Johann was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), a neurological disorder that affects motor movements in the mouth.  

Family speakers, the Flakers, right to left, Erich, Johann, 4, Magnus, 2 and LuvLee.

After years of pediatrician visits and milestone appointments, at two and a half Johann only spoke three words. Faced with high out of pocket costs the Flakers were unsure of where to turn, until they discovered Encompass.  

Within two weeks the Encompass Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) team was in the Flaker’s home evaluating Johann for free. After his diagnosis of CAS, he started therapy and within a year and a half, Johann was speaking in complete sentences. While he started his therapy in person, Encompass was able to pivot to telehealth Zoom sessions for Johann when the pandemic hit. 

Julie Forslin

Julie Forslin

“It’s overwhelming to know the help that you need isn’t available for you. I don’t know where we would be with Johann right now if we weren’t able to find the resource of Encompass,” said LuvLee. 

Julie Forslin was also recognized during the event and celebrates 20 years as a preschool educator at Encompass. Guests got to hear from two of Julie’s first students, PJ Stedman and Bailey Scott, who were both a part of the preschool class of 2000. 

Thirty-two corporate event sponsors, including Premier Sponsors Brown & Sterling Attorneys at Law and Nintendo helped support Encompass raise funds for the pediatric therapy, early learning, and family enrichment services that Encompass offers throughout the year. 


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