PINWHEELIt’s not always easy for big organizations to work together, especially when it comes to sensitive subjects like child abuse, but the Child Advocacy Center and its partners do just that. They work together to provide a safe place for abused children (more than 670 of them last year alone) to talk about traumatic events — one time. Then local agencies and law enforcement get to work on behalf of the young victims. There is no telling and retelling. No reliving the drama. A mission this big and this important takes a lot of planning and coordination. And money. On Saturday, Oct. 15, the Child Advocacy Center is set to host its Third Annual Pinwheel Masquerade Ball and Auction to Unmask Child Abuse at the Metropolitan Room in Downtown Fayetteville. 

This is Ann Shaw’s third year on the planning committee, and she’s looking forward to the big day. “My favorite part of the whole thing is watching everyone and seeing how they are dressed up. The thing I really like about the ball is that it is almost like walking into a winter wonderland. The decorations and lighting are fantastic, and seeing every one dressed up and getting into the theme is a lot of fun. We wanted to make sure is that it didn’t look like a prom. We wanted it to be a fascinating event, and I think we did that.” 

Come ready for a good time, and don’t forget to bring a mask for pictures in the photo booth that will be on site and the mask contest. A deejay, dance demonstrations, live and silent auctions including things like vacation packages and other items are planned. Come hungry, too. The 11 culinary sponsors are going out of their way to impress the crowd with food and drink options.

“We have a mask contest and that is fun to watch. Some people really get into it,” said Shaw. “We have seen everything from handheld eye masks to painted on masks to a porcelain mask that was custom made to fit the person wearing it,” said Shaw. Mask contest categories include (most unique mask, best mask couple, best mask female, best mask male, best mask group and best ensemble from head to toe.)

The menu is designed to enhance the already elegant event. All 11 of the culinary sponsors come ready to impress. This year, the food is provided by Evans Catering, Inc.; Sweet Surprise Candy Buffet; R Burger; Chris’s Steak House; Dorothy’s 2 Catering; Sammio’s Italian Restaurant; The Wine Café and The Coffee Cup; Elite Catering; PDQ; Sherefe; and Cooking Connection; and A Taste of West Africa. “We also have a signature drink that will be provided by Broadslab Distillery,” Shaw added.

The auctions, both silent and live, are a big part of the evening. Items up for bid are: lodging and breakfast at the Cape Fear Winery; a golf package for golf enthusiast; Alaska Cruise on Royal Caribbean; UNC football game tickets with signed UNC football; private villa for eight in Cabo San Lucas; Costa Rica getaway; two Myrtle Beach vacations and many more exciting live and silent auction packages. 

Proceeds from the event go to the Child Advocacy Center and bolster efforts and programs to serve local children. “Growing up in a community where people watched out for each other’s children gave me a sense of security as a child. Remember the old saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child?’ Finding that mentality today is very rare. That is why the need to provide educational programs that recognize and prevents child abuse is greater now than it has ever been before. Victims of child abuse are often left without hope, and it saddens my heart. I’ve always felt very blessed as a child and as a mother, and so I want to be a part of an organization that provides hope, help and healing to victims of child abuse,” said Shaw. 

 Tickets are $100 per person, $175 per couple and $850 for a table of eight. Tickets can be purchased at the Child Advocacy Center, or order online at; Eventbrite or text PINWHEEL to 44222. 

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