The Child Advocacy Center’s Pinwheel Masquerade Ball and Auction is set for Saturday, Oct. 17. Don your best party mask and come ready to have some fun. The evening includes mask contests, a deejay, dance demonstrations, a live auction, refreshments and more.
Emily Cross is doing a lot of the planning and she is excited about the auction items this year.
“This year the packages are bigger and we added a lot of travel packages,” she said. “We have trips to Costa Rica, Hawaii, New York and we even have a Sonoma Wine Tour package. We already have a group of eight coming just to bid on the trip to Costa Rica. We’ve invited Fayetteville’s best chefs to participate so the food will be fantastic, too.”
Funds from the Pinwheel Masquerade Ball and Auction benefit the Child Advocacy Center, which works to alleviate the trauma children experience once a disclosure of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse occurs by creating a community of collaborating advocates. The organization’s vision is a community where children live in a safe and nurturing environment free from sexual and physical abuse. By working with partners throughout the community, the CAC provides a safe and child-friendly center that supports the prevention, investigation and prosecution of child abuse.
Last year the Pinwheel Masquerade Ball brought in $29,600. This year, the planning committee is hoping for $40,000.
“There are so many expenses that grants don’t cover for nonprofits,” said Tim Edwards, chairman of the CAC Board. “You have to pay the staff and the rent and things like that. We are also working hard to increase education in the community because that helps stop and prevent abuse. Last year, more than 2,500 people received training in abuse prevention for children through CAC. We are trying to decrease the number of cases of abuse. Last year 661 children received services at CAC. We would love to see that go down, but that was an increase of 50 from the year before. That should not be happening.”
Founded in 1993, the CAC is instrumental in creating an environment where kids feel safe. Having one location where professionals from 19 community agencies work to interview, investigate and provide support for abused children and their families helps make an already complicated situation less frightening. It means fewer interviews, which means that victims don’t have to keep retelling their traumatic story to different people. Having all the information and resources in one place means that professionals can share information and details that help determine what is in the best interest of the children and families that come through the CAC. These agencies include law enforcement, medical care, mental health, military family services, social work, child protective services, the Cumberland County District Attorney’s office, victim advocates, education and Guardian ad Litem. This not only helps victims heal and gives advocates critical information and tools, it saves the community roughly $500,000 a year.
“Before the Child Advocacy Center was established, children would have to go from agency to agency and retell their story every time. They were revictimized every time they had to retell their experiences,” said Edwards. “These kids go through so much … things we can’t even fathom. If we can help them at all, we should and that is what we are trying to do here.”
The event takes place at the Metropolitan Room in Downtown Fayetteville. Tickets and tables are on sale at the Child Advocacy Center’s website, www.childadvocacycenter.com, or by calling the center at (910) 486-9700.