SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO)–The Children’s Home Society held its largest fundraiser of the year earlier this month, bringing hundreds of community members together to learn more about the organization and the more than 1,500 children supported by the organization and its many programs.

How one CHS family was honored in a big way at the Caring for the Kids Celebration banquet in tonight’s positively KELOLAND.

“Charlie has experienced some rough things in life,” Allyson Holden said in a video featured during the CHS banquet.

9-year-old Charlie is very familiar with the Children’s Home Society after living there for nearly four years, but last year his time in therapeutic foster care at CHS ended thanks to a special volunteer.

“My sister-in-law Allyson was a big buddy here, she got paired up with Charlie and she was like, you just have to meet this kid,” Charlie’s mom Kaylee Hamling said.

“I love the opportunity to get to come here and hang out with kids,” Holden said.

But big buddy Allyson Holden never imagined she’d help a CHS kid find his forever family.

“He’s been in our home for just bout a year and got him adopted in May of this year,” Hamling said.

Their adoption story was featured at the Caring for Kids banquet, highlighting CHS’s therapeutic foster program that currently cares for roughly 30 children.

“There’s a lot of kids here that need homes, so if we can help be a part of that, that would be wonderful,” Hamling said.

The Hamling family was happy to share their story to spread the word about CHS, but Charlie’s story was so impactful, it moved the audience to action in a big way during the fundraising event.

“Part of that is a live auction, one of the auction items is a week in Costa Rica,” CHS Director of Philanthropy Joe Mammenga said.

“He had said about this trip, you should bid on that,” Hamling said.

That wasn’t a consideration for the Hamling family, but as the auction was underway, the CHS board of directors were working on a special surprise.

“We were completely blown away when they asked Charlie if he spoke Spanish,” Haming said.

“The CHS Board decided to send he and his family to Costa Rica, also include things like spending money and passports to make it an all-inclusive experience for them,” Mammenga said.

“So excited for them to get to go on this trip and experience this, getting the boys to see the ocean, they’ve never seen the ocean before, its going to be really good,” Holden said.

“I was very excited,” Charlie said.

An incredible surprise that brings out Charlie’s million-dollar smile, even after overcoming so much already.

Charlie’s family says they’re looking forward to making memories together. They’re already working on getting passports for the first time and hope to head to Costa Rica sometime this winter to escape the cold.