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The 12th Annual Sweetheart Soiree brought crowds of people to the Love Civic Center on Saturday night for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris’ yearly fundraiser. With many silent and live auction items, catered food, complimentary drinks, great live entertainment and a more than worthy cause, the event attracted hundreds of people.
Dallas based band, Motion, brought their personality and flare to the party, not to mention seasoned vocalists and musicians. With a wide variety of songs from all genres, Motion was a perfect pick for the occasion.
All food was catered by popular Paris restaurant, Crawford’s Hole in the Wall. Offering special entree plates, followed by amazing desserts, the food was one of the highlights of the night. Crawford’s was also responsible for all the finger-foods and hors d’oeuvres, while Paris Coffee Company set up a complimentary coffee bar.
With decorative support from Full Blast Productions, the Soiree turned the location from event center to ballroom. Buffalo Joe’s Pub set up a wine and beer bar, while also allowing the guests to be temporary members so that they could enjoy the complimentary beverages.
Silent auction items lined the walls, allowing guests to walk around and bid on items throughout the night. Many local merchants and businesses made donations to the auction, offering everything from useful items, gift cards, free dinners, baskets of ‘goodies’, clothes, custom decor, and more. Thousands of dollars were raised for the Advocacy Center on the silent auction alone.
There were even bigger items offered in the live auction, hosted and overseen by CLC Auction Services. Also donated to the event by local and regional businesses and merchants, the live auction had items such as, Dallas Mavericks tickets, autographed Mavericks gear, a training day with the Paris PD SWAT, a private party with music by Cas Haley, and a fish fry for 25.
Below is a list of some items donated, along with the winning bidders:
Dallas Mavericks autographed memorabilia — basketballs signed by Jason Terry & Dirk Nowitzki — $350 — Gary Brown, Uptown Properties
Dinner for 2 at Dallas’ famous Stephen Pyle’s Restaurant and 2 tickets to any AT&T Center event — $375 — Bill Owens, James Hodge
Fish Fry for 25 at Home Helpers Man Cave, with music by Stoney Musgrove — $800 — James hodge Motors
The Dallas Mavericks Experience — 4 tickets in the Platinum Section/4 $30 Concession Gift Cards & Parking Passes or Limousine Service — $575 — Willie Young from Stephenville
Custom Canvas Painting by Gerald Cournoyer — $525 — Gary Brown
Training day with Paris PD Swat Team — $550 — Edwin Pickle
50% off any orthodontic treatment at Spencer Orthodontics — $1750 — Chris Prakash
Private party with music by Cas Haley at That Guy’s Coffee & Listening Room for up to 40 people — $1600 — James hodge
Ladies Sweetheart Package; Chocolate Pearl Necklace, one dozen roses & two dozen chocolates — $225 — Mike Kelley
Crawfish Boil for 20 people at Drake’s Party Barn — $1500 — Mark Buster
Mavericks Game Night — 2 tickets to game against the Orlando Magic and night’s stay at Dallas’ famous Hotel ZaZa — $500 – Greg Higgins
All proceeds from the event and auctions will go to the benefit of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris. The Sweetheart Soiree is a vital part of the funding that goes to the many programs and services that CAC provides to child victims of abuse and neglect in Lamar and Red River counties.
Their mission is to promote hope, healing and justice to these children, through programs such as, Forensic Interviews, Assistance with Crime Victims Compensations, Community Education, Family Advocation, Multidisciplinary Case Staffing, On-Site Sexual Assault Exams, and the resourceful Rainbow Room.
The multidisciplinary team of the CAC consists of members from agencies like, the Lamar & Red River County Sheriff’s, District Attorney’s & Juvenile Probation Offices, the Paris, Bogata, Clarksville, & Reno Police Departments, SANE Nurses, and Texas Child Protective Services.
As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, the Advocacy Center survives off of community donations and government grants. Without events like the popular, annual Sweetheart Soiree, the CAC would have a hard time providing for the children of need that surround us.
The reason the Children’s Advocacy Center has such a necessary impact…according to statistics, 1-in-6 boys and 1-in-4 girls are sexually abused before reaching their 18th birthday. Among these victims, over 95% were abused by either a family member or someone they knew and trusted. In the state of Texas, 74% of children receiving CAC services were under the age of 12.
During the Soiree, a slideshow played on large screens above the heads of guests reminding them of the reasons attending such an event as this, in support of CAC, is so important. It read like this:
Ten percent of the children in Texas are confirmed victims of abuse or neglect. That number is 68,326. Each year, 280 Texas children die because of abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents or guardians.
In one year, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris serves 200 children.
200 — 70% of the children seen at the CAC are involved in sexual abuse cases.
200 — 99% of the children served at our local CAC know their perpetrator.
200 — 25% of these local children are not old enough to attend kindergarten.
These numbers are astonishing. If not for places like the Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris, where would these children seek refuge or help? It is for this reason, and these children, that event’s such as the Sweetheart Soiree are held.
J&L Asphalt & Paving as the event’s Underwriter Sponsor.
Campbell’s Soup, Paris Orthopedic Clinic, Harrison Walker & Harper, and UpTown Properties as Platinum Sponsors.
Rocking E Moving & Storage, Higgins Family Clinic, McKee’s Family Restaurant, Morrell Auto Group, NextEra Energy, Paris Regional Medical Center, and James Hodge Motors as Gold Sponsors.
1st Federal Bank, Toyota of Paris, Turner Industries, Coca-Cola, Liberty National Bank, Paris Cardiology Center, Digital Mammography of Northeast Texas, Paris Imaging Center, Radiology Center of Paris, Kimberly-Clark, Paris Police Officers Association, Jill & Lou Novak, Bell Electronics, and Brumback’s Heavy Equipment as Silver Sponsors.
Bronze sponsors — Lamar National Bank, PCA – Dr. Eric Salzman, Spencer Dental Clinic, People’s Bank, Scott Kennedy State Farm, Judge Bill Harris, David & Jill Drake, Pools & More, Sonic, Guaranty Bond Bank, eParisTexas.com, Norment & Landers Insurance, Paris Chevrolet, Northeast Texas Wellness Center, Judge Will Biard, Stephen Gerrald – Edward Jones, ServPro, Pierson & Fendley Insurance, Peeples Insurance, Brent Napier Wells Fargo Advisors, Breakfast Optimist Club, and Dr’s. Cliff & Sherry Scott.
In-Kind Sponsors — Kwik Kopy Business Solutions, The Paris News, K.95.5 “Continuous Country”, and East Texas Broadcasting.