In 1920, a group of “20-odd young vital businessmen” gathered to listen to a representative of Kiwanis International. A week later, that num-ber grew to more than 75 as the men gathered to charter their club and hand out membership applications. Since that time, the Kiwanis Club of Fayetteville has gone about the business of improving the community one child at a time, living up to the Kiwanis International motto, “Serving the Children of the World.”
On Sept. 18, the club will take another step toward helping Cumberland County’s children by sponsoring the Kiwanis Club’s Annual Care for Kids Golf Tourna-ment to benefit the Child Advocacy Center. The tourna-ment, held at Cypress Lakes Golf Course, in the Gray’s Creek Community, is one of many fundraising events the club holds throughout the year. In 2013, the tour-nament raised more than $25,000 and organizers hope to meet or exceed that amount this year.
The Child Advocacy Center is a 501C-3 nonprofit whose purpose is to alleviate the trauma children experience once a disclosure of sexual abuse or seri-ous physical abuse occurs by creating a community of collaborating advocates.
They do this through a number of programs that stress education and prevention to change the community, but also include therapy and other help for children who have been abused. The work of the center is truly a community activity, as a multidisciplinary team from across the community works together on the various programs and to meet the needs of abused children.
The center, located on Ray Avenue, is a safe and child friendly facility that supports the prevention, investigation and prosecution of child abuse.
None of this would happen without the generous support of individual donors, grants and work by organizations like the Kiwanis who give self-lessly to support the mission of the organization.
The donations given to the center will not only help the children and families that suffer from abuse, but also assist in keeping the center in operation.
“The center uses the donations to help the families in any way possible. We buy food, clothes, school supplies and provide psychological care. The center also helps the families figure out the next steps for their children,” said Roberta Humphries, the executive director of the CAC.
“The donations collected from July 2013 to June 2014 aided 616 children. In the past year the CAC has seen a 37 percent increase in t services provided to children,” continued Humphries. “Law enforcement and the Department of Social Services refer the majority of the families that benefit from CAC services.”
Donations also help inform the public about pre-venting, noticing and protecting children from abuse. Abuse can be defined as emotional, physical, sexual and neglect.
The Darkness to Light (D2L) Stewards of Children is a class held by the CAC to teach adults how to prevent child sexual abuse. Adults are the fundamental part to counteracting child abuse because kids are in the attention of adults. The program is also helpful for organizations that monitor or care for children.
In addition to the Caring for Kids Golf Tournament, the club also hosts many other events throughout the year such as: Reading is Fun, Kiwanis Talent Night, Terrific Kids program and Salvation Army Bell Ringing.
Check in for the tournament is at 11:30 a.m. at Cypress Lakes. Registra-tion is $100 for individuals and $400 for teams of four. Entry fee includes: golf cart and green’s fees with an amenities bag and dinner after the tournament. There is a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. For registration forms or more information, visit www.fayettevillekiwanis.org.
Photo: The Kiwanis Care for Kids Golf Tournament rais-es funds to support the Child Advocacy Center.