CONWAY, Ark – The Children’s Advocacy Alliance (CAA) celebrates its 18th annual Festival of Chairs to be held Thursday, October 3, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Spiritan Center. As the regional nonprofit provider of advocacy services for abused and neglected children of Faulkner, Van Buren, Searcy, Conway, and Perry Counties, the CAA is a partnership of the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the 20th Judicial District.
“Festival of Chairs is more than a fundraiser, it’s a time for us to celebrate the children in our community who show us the most courage, strength, and hope. We are so excited to be hosting this year’s event at a new venue with some fun new additions to the program” said Leia Smith, development coordinator of the Children’s Advocacy Alliance.
“As an organization of individuals dedicated to responding to child abuse, we would not be successful without community support. Festival of Chairs is the opportunity for our community to join us and help us bring services to more children who need advocacy and care,” said Tess Fletcher, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Alliance.
The new venue will host 500+ attendees with a maximum capacity of 600 individuals. The CAA is excited about bringing the community together to raise critical funding for children in Central Arkansas.
“We are excited for the opportunity for our parish to host the Festival of Chairs in our new Spiritan Center. We hope that the event will be a huge success and serve to benefit the children of Central Arkansas,” said Fr. Tony Robbins, St. Joseph pastor.
The CAA will present two guests with awards the night of the event. One award will honor one community member who has gone the extra mile to help in the fight to end child abuse. The second award will be given to survivors of abuse who has risen above their past to fight for others.
“We think it’s critical to raise awareness, get loud about it, tell our stories, and celebrate those who have inspired this community to do more.
“Without community support, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We need everyone in this fight, after all, we all are responsible for these children,” said Smith.
Individuals may support this event through attendance, bidding online, sponsorship, or donating an auction item to the event.
“This year I know we are going to have more storytelling, more hope, more healing, and more justice. I hope everyone who wants to stand up for the abused, neglected, or voiceless child is able to join us,” said Smith.
“With your help, we really can end child abuse. It will, however, take us as a community coming together to reach that goal. We choose loud hope as our theme this year because we know it takes all of our voices getting louder together to create change for these kids,” said Fletcher.
In 2018, the Festival of Chairs raised more than $60,000 supporting 30 forensic interviews, 20 medical exams, and 10 foster children receiving a CASA for a year.
For more information about The Children’s Advocacy Alliance, visit www.hopeandjustice.org.