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Gala gathering raises funds for CAC
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Deer Path Farms provided a rustic yet elegant backdrop for the sixth annual Angels Autumn Fest Thursday night. Angels Autumn Fest is a fundraiser for the Children’s Advocacy Center 31st Judicial District. The center serves both Warren and Van Buren counties with Martha Phillips serving as executive director.
Jeans and Gems was the theme of the gala which was perfect for the setting as women could pair their jewels with denim and many men chose to sport a blazer with jeans for the evening.
Upon arrival, attendees were treated to champagne cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while mingling outside under trees filled with glowing lanterns which competed with the stars in the sky. Pumpkins, mums and fall foliage displays complemented the decor.
A delicious three-course dinner consisting of salad, salmon, prime rib, potatoes, asparagus, green peas and dessert was catered by The Grove and was served inside a large barn in which chandeliers hung from the rafters.
Guest speaker for the evening was a young 15-year-old female who had been molested at age 6. She said she was very thankful for the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). She also fought through tears saying she was outraged that the amount of child abuse cases reported in the state of Tennessee exceed cases of childhood cancer, diseases and accidents in the state. She urged attendees to stand up, stop the silence and fight against child abuse “for tomorrow it may be your children,” she said.
Local attorney Tom Miner was presented an award as a 2013 Children’s Advocacy Guardian.
Connie McCormick, family advocate for CAC, said, “Tom deserves this award because anytime we call he will answer our calls. He talks to the children. He can relate to our children. He is able to talk to the families. We are truly blessed to have him as part of our child protection investigation team.”
Attendees could bid on several silent auction items including tickets to attractions such as Dollywood, dinner for four to The Fog Light, jewelry and original artwork.
The Children’s Advocacy Center is a safe and child-friendly facility where children who may be victims of sexual and/ or physical abuse come for evaluation, intervention, evidence gathering and victim advocacy. The center is also available for non-offending family members of the affected children.