Advocates for Children Spring Benefit Raises Funds for Local Children and Families

Spring brings with it images of warmer days, flowers blooming, and a rebirth of vibrancy after the chill and muted tones of winter. For the ninth year it also welcomed the Spring Benefit for Advocates for Children, an event that raises funds for the organization’s mission to prevent and treat child abuse in all its forms.

The event co-chairs Regina Shaw and Barbara Terry, along with their steering committee of Kim Bowen, Tamara Brock, Abbey Culverhouse, Hannah Hart, Amy Morgan, Charissa Pritchett, Deena Stewart and Justine Tidwell organized the event from logistics and décor to sponsorships and auction items. This year’s event raised approximately $121,000 from ticket sales, sponsorships and the live and silent auctions of more than 200 items. These ranged from food and beverage items, outdoor pieces, home décor, jewelry, sporting tickets and memorabilia, getaways and more. An estimated 50 local retailers provide items for the silent auction. Several local merchants and craftsmen contributed to the live auction, including Blue Sky Outfitters, Steel Possible, Stiles Jewelers, Reflections Skin & Laser Center, and Frederick Knight with Georgia Harvest Tables. Terry noted that the wide range of one of a kind items is a highlight of the event, as guests enjoy bidding on them.

It is a group effort to pull off an event of this scale, added Terry. “The planning takes the many different talents of our committee to make the event successful.”

Shaw echoed Terry’s observations about committee members and volunteers. “I think what makes this event unique is the committed group of wonderful volunteers who eagerly give of their time each year without hesitation, as well as the loyal guests who always attend because of their support of the mission of Advocates for Children.”

New this year was the component of a dessert dash. Tables collectively bid amounts to
have the first choice of desserts available. Those at the highest bidding table were able to pick from a wide assortment of delicacies, including decadent cakes made by local legends and sinfully rich confections from well-known bakeries. Lower bidding tables were not left out of the dessert course, but risked dining on less desirable varieties of snack cakes and prepackaged sweets. The addition of the dessert dash added to the competitiveness of some bidders who vied fiercely for some of the live auction items later.

With sponsorship from Publix Super Markets Charities, Dynaflux, Inc., Georgia Southern Transportation, Georgia Bone & Joint Surgeons, P.C., Jennifer and Glen Merritt/North Highland Worldwide Consulting, Shaw Industries Group, Target, and Bruce Thompson Enterprises, this year’s benefit drew in a large crowd of local business and community leaders. Each guest had an opportunity to bid on the wide variety of items, enjoy live music by Windfall, and dine on food at the Cartersville Country Club. According to Advocates for Children Events Manager Melissa Warren, this was the first year for the event to change locations to the Cartersville Country Club for a different look and feel for the evening.

“The Cartersville Country Club is a beautiful venue for most any type of event,” said Warren. “Christine Gossett and Stuart Cobb were such a blessing to us in handling the logistics of hosting our event at their location. As always, Matthew Hendrix and the Cartersville Country Club staff were absolutely amazing, and always willing to help in any way possible.”

Advocates for Children provides direct care to children from birth to age 18 who have been victims of abuse and neglect. In addition, the organization offers preventive and educational programming that focuses on crucial elements of family wellness. Staff and volunteers work tirelessly to provide resources, care and encouragement to children and families. None of that would be possible without the community’s support through events like Spring Benefit, according to Advocates for Children Development Director Amy Davis.

“Advocates relies on local support, including special events, for more than one-third of our overall $2.2 million budget,” said Davis. “We receive competitive grants and contracts from state and federal sources, but these funds are not guaranteed from year to year, so we are constantly trying to increase the level of private support for Advocates and the young people of this community.”

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