Dixie van de Flier Davis, founder of Raise the Future, passed away last week
Colorado has lost a tireless advocate for children living under the toughest of circumstances: Dixie van de Flier Davis, whose passion led to the adoption of about 10,000 children and youth over four decades.
Davis, who founded the Adoption Exchange, now known as Raise the Future, died of cancer on Feb. 21, according to CBS4 in Denver. It was that Denver-based affiliate with whom she launched a 40-year partnership in which the station broadcast a profile each week of a local foster youth in need of a permanent, loving home. Davis claimed that more than 70% of the kids featured on the segment, called “Wednesday’s Child,” were placed into permanent homes.
Many of those profiled were among the groups hardest to place: older children whose chances of adoption fade by the day, children with special needs and siblings who could not be separated.
Davis’ passion for her work was infectious, and she inspired everyone around her, said Tim Weiland, vice president and general manager of CBS4 and current member of the Raise the Future board. He met her in his first year at the station, at the age of 23.
“I was asked if I would go to dinner with Dixie and just learn a little bit more about the organization, and see if it might be an organization I’d be interested in working with,” Weiland said after her death. “I was warned that if I were to do this that I would instantly be connected to it and want to do it forever. And, of course, I said, ‘I really don’t think so. I’ll be fine. I just want to listen and hear what Dixie has to say.’ And, I would say 10 minutes into dinner, I had tears running down my face. I was asking, ‘What could I do? When could I join the board? What projects could I do?’ That was probably my most memorable experience with her because of how convincingly she told the story of these children. and made you appreciate how you could make a difference by working with her.”
Davis retired from the organization she founded in 2012, but her legacy continues to this day with continual adoptions and a new “Wednesday’s Child” segment running each week.