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Party for a cause
Gala - Beth Saunders, Bill Brock, Angel Award.jpg
Bill Brock is presented the Children’s Advocacy Center Angel Award, the organization’s highest honor, by board president Beth Saunders. Brock has served on the board nine years.

There was food and merriment Saturday during the annual Children’s Advocacy Center Gala with hundreds of local residents joining together to raise money for a worthy cause.

“We work with children who are victims of severe abuse,” said CAC executive director Cassell Galligan-Davis. “We’re trained to do forensic interviews with children in a way that is led by the child and that will hold up in court. We’re also there to provide support for family members because a lot of times they’re in crisis too. Something has just happened to a child in their care that they never thought would happen.”

Two awards took center stage on a night that featured a catered meal, and live and silent auctions. Donald Hillis led the live auction and was reeling in top dollar for everything from a $300 mega chocolate cake to a $1,000 original painting by local artist Michael Galligan.

Longtime board member Bill Brock was given the organization’s top honor, the Angel Award.

“When we were talking about recipients, he always came up as the best candidate,” said CAC board president Beth Saunders. “He’s always there to help.”

Brock said he would accept the award on behalf of the entire board because it’s a hard-working group. He’s been a board member the past nine years and will have to roll off for three years, according to organization bylaws.

“It’s sad to say this is not a problem that will go away,” said Brock.

Board treasurer Dianne Gillespie was recognized for her do-it-all spirit. Saturday happened to be her birthday too.

“It’s not a recognition we’ll have every year, but we wanted to honor Dianne this year for what she’s done,” said Galligan-Davis, who noted Gillespie is a major force behind organizing the CAC gala. 

The Children’s Advocacy Center provides its services in a child-friendly environment. Abuse can be physical or sexual. 

Child maltreatment commonly leads to long-term physical health conditions, psychological issues, behavioral problems, and societal consequences. The CAC offers counseling as part of its family services programs and this is provided at no charge.