BY BECKY ANDREWS
PHOTOS BY HEATHER WAMBLE
A few years ago, shortly after beginning her tenure as Executive Director of the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center (CAC), Deb Daugherty, came up with a sweet idea to raise money for the CAC. A lover of all things chocolate, Daugherty decided to incorporate the sweet confection as part of the perfect fundraiser.
Disappointed after researching other chocolate themed events across the country, Daugherty had an “aha” moment, “Wine tastings were gaining popularity and that’s when it hit me; ‘a formal event where guests sample exquisite chocolates-like one would taste fine wines. That’s when A Chocolate Affair was born.”
In February the CAC will host the 5th Annual Chocolate Affair. While the primary goal is to raise money for child advocacy, last year Daugherty and her team used the event as a platform to encourage guests to “Shop Wilson County First” by including a fashion show that featured items exclusively pulled from local boutiques.
In addition to sampling amazing chocolates from across the globe, indulging in a decadent chocolate fountain and partaking in live music and silent auction, guests at this year’s Chocolate Affair can test their sugary expertise with Chocolate Trivia, and have a photo taken in a state of the art digital photo booth with a customizable background. Local boutiques will also be on hand showcasing the latest in spring style and trends.
This year’s event will be held on Friday, February 7th, from 7:30pm until 9:30 in Labry Hall at Cumberland University. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at the Child Advocacy Center (check only), online at www.chocolateaffair.net or at the door (cash, check or credit card). Sponsors for the event are always welcome! For more information, please call Deb Daugherty at 615-449-7975.
The Child Advocacy Center serves children who have been physically and/or sexually abused. The mission of the CAC is to “Reduce the trauma of child abuseand facilitate the healing process.” A goal that is realized through forensic interviewing of the child, mental health counseling, and community education. Proceeds from the Chocolate Affair are used for direct services to children, particularly forensic interviews as well as to provide funds for families who cannot afford counseling for their child.
Daugherty has big dreams for A Chocolate Affair, the organizations only fundraiser, “We currently serve children out of an office in a strip mall. Our dream is to have a house that will make the children feel more comfortable. A house would be much more welcoming than an office that a child might associate with a doctor or dentist office.”
While Daugherty admits that it’s unrealistic to eliminate child abuse altogether, prevention education can hold the key to reducing the occurrence of it. Daugherty explains, “We utilize Stewards of Children,” which is a program that helps us train adults to recognize and prevent child sexual abuse. It is estimated that for every one adult trained, ten children are protected from abuse. As of November 1, 2013, the CAC has trained 477 adults. That translates to 4,770 children who are better protected from abuse.”
Mark your calendar NOW for February 7 so that you won’t miss the sweetest fundraiser in 2014.
Can’t make it to A Chocolate Affair? CAC is always in need of donations.
1. Play-Doh (used during the forensic interview to give the child something to do while talking to the interviewer)
2. NEW stuffed animals (given to the child after the interview)
3. Copy paper
4. Paper towels
6. Disinfectant wipes
7. Bottled water
And finally, a house (or money for one)
Call Debbie at 449-7975 if you can help
How To Get Tickets:
The event takes place Friday, February 7th, from 7:30pm until 9:30 in Labry Hall at Cumberland University. Tickets are $25 per person. Get tickets at the Child Advocacy Center (check only), online at www.chocolateaffair.net or at the door (cash, check or credit card).