By: Deanna Rebro | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2015
Board President Adrienne Barnett is joined by one of many comforting bears at the Children’s Advocacy Center.
An evening of glamour, fun and entertainment on April 25 will benefit a cause that has alarming, widespread and increasing statistics throughout the community. The Child Abuse Network (CAN) presents the 2015 CANdlelight Ball at the historic Mayo Hotel as a way to raise awareness and funds for children who are sexually, physically or emotionally abused.
CAN, a charter member of the National Children’s Alliance, is the only nonprofit organization focused on child abuse investigation. At its Children’s Advocacy Center in Tulsa, children from newborn to 17 are provided with medical evaluations, forensic interviews, mental health services and case reviews. The entire atmosphere fosters a feeling of safety and comfort for the children and their families. Services are available upon referral 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Last year, CAN served over 2,500 children. They are currently averaging 10 children per day. A conservative estimate indicates one child in every classroom in every school in Tulsa is affected by some form of child abuse. There is no socioeconomic boundary; child abuse is literally everywhere in the Tulsa community.
The organization’s Tulsa model, Children’s Advocacy Center, stands out as the only branch in the state to house the entire team of multidisciplinary agencies to investigate child abuse and provide services under one roof. The 9,600-square-foot building houses offices for the Tulsa County District Attorney, the Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa County Department of Human Services – Child Welfare, OU-Tulsa School of Community Medicine, Pediatrics Medicine and others. Keeping all involved agencies together facilitates communication and expediency to help children at this critical point in their lives.
Board President Adrienne Barnett serves on this year’s event committee that is led by Amanda McConnell. Adrienne knows first-hand why centralization is important. In 2008, the family law attorney was trying a case in Arkansas that involved abuse of a young teenage girl. Offices were scattered. No one knew what the other participating agencies were doing. The child was lost in the system.
During that time, Adrienne met Dr. Robert Block, a leading authority on child abuse pediatrics. Two years later, CAN asked her to join the efforts in the Tulsa office, where
Dr. Block was practicing. “I am happy to be a part of this cause,” she says, “to help raise funds for these kids and to educate the community on how to stop child abuse.”
The theme for this fourth annual black tie event is “Every child is a gem.” The sparkle of precious jewels and a candlelight ambience will be the setting for the gala that features a cocktail hour, red carpet photo opportunities, dinner in the Crystal Ballroom, a live auction, live Fund-a-Need and surprise entertainment. Auction items include sports and entertainment packages, fine dining and jewelry.
An after-party begins at 9 p.m. with champagne, desserts and slow, rock and swing dancing to the music of Dave and the Wavetones, a nationally recognized 16-piece band that has performed for governors, senators and celebrities throughout the Southwest. “This entire venue allows us to increase awareness of child abuse in our community, tell people what we are doing to end the violence, and honor the sponsors who make our work and our services possible,” says Adrienne.
Sponsorship levels range from $1,000 to $15,000. Major sponsors thus far include the H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Barnett Family Foundation, Hillcrest Health Care System, D & L Oil Tools, Global Health and the John Steele Zink Foundation.
After-party tickets with optional black tie are available to the public for $75 each. Call (918) 624-0201 for availability of individual reservations for $250 each. The CAN website offers opportunities to donate or volunteer for those who cannot attend the ball.
For more information, contact
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.