Child safety center cooks lobster, announces plans, dreams big

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Supporters of the Children’s Safety Center of Washington County gathered in the parking lot of the First National Bank of Northwest Arkansas in Fayetteville for the 11th annual Founders Crawfish Boil on June 5th. The outdoor event helped the nonprofit exceed its fundraising goal by raising more than $ 16,000 to support customers and their families. The group that started the event 11 years ago, the “founders,” are Reggie Sanders, Courtney Silkwood, Jeremy Treat, Kendrick Williams, Shane Hevelone, Brent Courtney, Dan Arrington, Jeff DeVore, Gregg McMullen and Jeff Pederson.

“Washington County’s Child Safety Center (CSC) empowers children to overcome abuse and to trust, hope, and heal,” said the center’s directors. “We do this in a child-friendly environment by providing child advocacy, forensic interviews, forensic medical examinations, psychological therapy and child abuse prevention, and training. The CSC also brings together teams of professionals who include the vital resources of law enforcement, child protection services, victim services, prosecutors, health workers and community volunteers using a multidisciplinary team approach. All of our programs are free to underage victims and non-delinquent family members. “

The center’s leaders announced plans in April to move from its current location in downtown Springdale to a facility on Gene George Boulevard in Springdale on Don Tyson Parkway.

“A larger, dedicated workspace will allow us to expand our programs to ensure that our new home provides every child with access to the vital services they need to heal, no matter how fast Washington County grows.”

Next up for the group is the Virtual Dream Big Charity Gala on July 16 via Facebook Live and YouTube.

The organizers say, “Let the show go! We hope you can join us live for our annual fundraiser, the 14th Annual Dream Big Charity Gala, presented by Johnson & Johnson. … We’ll be doing virtual production again this year by Deepwood Media. Live from Prairie Street Live. ” The live feed starts at 6:45 p.m. with a pre-program reel, the main event starts at 7 p.m.

The event features live music from Boom! Kinetic presented by Arvest Bank, a silent online auction, a short program and “when the donations are high enough you will see some familiar faces get a pie in the face.” Online bids open on July 1st and close on July 16th at 10:00 pm. Scott McCall, Walmart US Chief Merchandising Officer, will serve as Honorary Chairman this year. A link to register and silent bidding can be found at: childrenssafetycenter.org/dream-big

Those who catch crawfish and chat with the Child Safety Center were Courtney Silkwood, Tanya Mims, Heath Ecklund, Gregory McMullen, Jason Hughes, Reggie Sanders, Jeremy Treat, Kendrick Williams, Debbie Hunter, Cheryl Mendham, Brantley Wright, Will Sonneman, Alice Rappe, Sandy Fisher, Jasmin Beauchamp, Troy Griffin, Brittany Chase, Shane Hevelone, Emily and Chad Fisher, Darrel Lindabury, John Mullins, David Erstine, Peyton Stewman and Elizabeth Shackelford, Executive Director.

If you suspect abuse or a child reveals something to you, call the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline at 844.SAVE.A.CHILD (844-728-3224). For more information or other ways to help the Child Safety Center, visit www.childrenssafetycenter.org

More event photos – nwadg.com/photos/society.

Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]

Emily Rappe Fisher, CSC Development Director (from left) visits Courtney Silkwood and Tanya Mims of the First National Bank of Northwest Arkansas at the Crawfish Boil on June 5th (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Troy Griffin, Shane Hevelone, Jasmin Beauchamp and Brittany Chase take part in the Crawfish Boil.  (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Troy Griffin, Shane Hevelone, Jasmin Beauchamp and Brittany Chase take part in the Crawfish Boil. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Chad Fisher (from left), Darrell Lindabury, John Mullins and David Erstine attend the CSC fundraiser.  (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Chad Fisher (from left), Darrell Lindabury, John Mullins and David Erstine attend the CSC fundraiser. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Heath Eckland (from left), Gregory McMullen and Jason Hughes support the child safety center.  (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Heath Eckland (from left), Gregory McMullen and Jason Hughes support the child safety center. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Peyton Stewman (left) and Elizabeth Shackelford, Executive Director of CSC, welcome the guests to the benefit lecture on the 5th (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Peyton Stewman (left) and Elizabeth Shackelford, CSC Managing Director, welcome the guests to the benefit program on June 5th. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Alice Rappe (left) and Sandy Fisher enjoy the Crawfish Boil.  (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Alice Rappe (left) and Sandy Fisher enjoy the Crawfish Boil. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Brantley Wright (left) and Will Sonneman of the Natural State Brewing Company serve guests at the Child Safety Center's fundraiser.  (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

Brantley Wright (left) and Will Sonneman of the Natural State Brewing Company serve guests at the Child Safety Center’s fundraiser. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Carin Schoppmeyer)

More news

At a glance

Founder cooking lobster

Who: Washington County Child Safety Center

What: The 11th Annual Benefit and backers helped the group earn over $ 16,000.

When: June 5th

Where: First National Bank of the NWA in Fayetteville

Next: Virtual Dream Big Charity Gala on July 16th July

Information: (479) 872-6183 or childrenssafetycenter.org

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