25th Anniversary

Join Wake County Smart Start as we celebrate 25 years of partnerships and progress for young children.


Building Bright Futures:
An Evening Celebrating Partnerships And Progress For Children


EVENT POSTPONED until May 13, 2023

After much deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our 25th Anniversary Evening Celebration and Fundraiser. Our conversations with many stakeholders show that there is still caution and hesitancy to attend an in-person event with 400 attendees regardless of the pandemic easing. WCSS wants to create an experience where all guests feel comfortable attending. While pivoting to a virtual event is an option, we do not believe it will meet our event experience goals. We know our guests will want to mix, mingle, and celebrate with hugs and handshakes. We also believe that meeting and hearing our keynote Sonia Manzano, “Maria” from Sesame Street, in person is worth the wait! She supports our decision to postpone and will be ready for live hugs and handshakes when the time is right.

Click the button below to add your name to our list and be the first to know when ticketing goes live and to hear updates about our agency’s activity.

Keep Me Informed


While we’re waiting for someone to put a glass of bubbly in our hands, we want to introduce you to our fantastic Host Committee that will be active now and next year in our 25th planning. We appreciate this group of great leaders that will serve as ambassadors for the event as well as our mission.

Donald Thompson

CEO, The Diversity Movement

Derrick Byrd

Executive Director, Family Resource Center South Atlantic

Amy Cubbage

President, North Carolina Partnership for Children

Kacie Fore

Project Manager, Duke Energy

Pilar Rocha-Goldberg

President and CEO, El Centro Hispano NC

Crash Gregg

Publisher, Triangle Downtowner Magazine

Sherry Heuser

President, Capability Comapny

Jessica Holmes

Attorney, Former County Commissioner

Karen Ponder

Distinguished Fellow, BUILD Initiative

Kim Shaw

Owner, A Safe Place Child Development Center

Craig Simon

Media and Software Account Manager, Radio One

Willy Stewart

CEO and Chairman, Stewart Inc.

Rob Thompson

Director, Early Childhood, BCBS Foundation

Joe White

Director of Finance and Business, NCSU Libraries


Want to get in early on sponsorship opportunities? There are a limited number, and we anticipate a sell-out crowd along with a streaming audience. Contact Jen MacPherson, Communications Manager, at jmacpherson@wakesmartstart.org for more details.

Wake ThreeSchool is on the way!
April 29, 2021

Learn more about this visionary announcement for Wake’s children!