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Community celebrates opening of Children’s Advocacy Center

(ROCKWALL, TX – April 5, 2018) The Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County officially became fully operational this morning with a ribbon cutting and signing ceremony.

Police chiefs from Rockwall County’s seven jurisdictions signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the event to formally launch the Rockwall CAC. Law enforcement departments in Rockwall County work closely with the family advocates and counselors of the CAC, the Department of Family Protective Services, Rockwall Sexual Assault Response Team, Dallas REACH Clinic and Rockwall County District Attorney’s Office to provide a collaborative response to victims of child abuse.

“The CAC brings all of those professionals together for monthly strategy sessions, and together we’re doing a better job really advocating for the kids in our community who need our services,” said Rockwall CAC President and CEO Patricia Mejia. “They’re our youngest citizens and they are also our most vulnerable citizens. Having a CAC in place enables us to provide an environment for kids that is safe, secure and confidential. They deserve that.”

Rockwall CAC staff and board members welcomed the community to their new home at The Soroptimist House (1310 Washington St.) where folks enjoyed tours of the recently renovated building – a collaborated effort by several community partners to create an environment that restores hope and healing to abused children. The building was generously donated to the CAC by the Rockwall Soroptimists, and helped pave the way for the CAC to become the 70th child advocacy center in the state to open its doors.

“This is a project that many of us have wanted to get started for a long time,” said Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney and Rockwall CAC Board President Kenda Culpepper. “We went to The Soroptimist House and said we really need a Children’s Advocacy Center, and they welcomed all of us with open arms. As a result, this already beautiful house has become magically transformed by the incredible efforts of many throughout the community.”

The following community partners helped make the newly renovated Rockwall CAC facility become a reality:

Artist Chloe Fritz created this beautiful CityScape Graphic and Girl Scouts Troop #7780 (Allie, Ashlyn, Ava, Brooke, Emersen and Mia) made the hanging origami for one of the hallways of The Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County.

TCB Construction Group / Ace Décor and Finishes / Steve Silver Co. / Williamson Foundation Repair / Owens Interiors at Home /
Toyota of Rockwall / My Computer Guy / Signature Signs & Graphics

Service, labor and clean-up: Tony Hackett – Rockwall Probation / Sue Reeve – Soroptimist International of Rockwall / Norman Seals and Dennis Lindley – Young Men’s Service League

Funding for facility renovations generously provided by: Soroptimist International of Rockwall / America’s Guardians / Eloise Cullum / Allegiance Title: Closings for a Cause / Sarah Whittle / Rockwall Police Officers Association / Rockwall Lion’s Club / Michelle Nevergold /
James McCurry / Joyce Davenport Family / Holy Trinity by the Lake / Kandy Horn

Demolition: Lake Pointe Church Construction Ministry / DeMuth Life Group

Artist Susan Green painted this gorgeous mural on the wall of the main lobby area inside The Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County.

Blue outdoor lighting of the Downtown Historic Courthouse will occur during the period of April 6-7 in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month in Rockwall County. The Rockwall CAC invites the community to participate in several activities going on this month to help raise awareness of the prevalence of child abuse in the community and across North Texas.

Friday, April 6 – Texas Go Blue Day
Organizations and corporations throughout the community are encouraged to wear blue in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Prizes will be awarded for largest group, most creative, and best pet—tag Childrens Advocacy Center for Rockwall County on your Facebook pictures with #IStandUp and help create awareness.

Friday, April 27 – Go Blue for Kids Banquet
The second annual Go Blue for Kids Banquet will be held at Rockwall Manor at The Springs in Poetry, TX to raise funds for the Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County.  Ticket and sponsorship information is available at https://rockwallcac.org/event/go-blue-for-kids-2018/.

Sunday, April 29 – Blue Sunday
This event provides an opportunity for faith communities to get involved by organizing a special offering to benefit The Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County or by asking faith leaders to share a statistic or story during their service.  A prayer sheet is also available upon request.

For more stories, statistics, and information about how you can join in the efforts around Child Abuse Prevention Month in Rockwall County, visit www.rockwallcac.org.

Story and photos by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.

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