Here’s why Rockwall County goes blue for kids in April

Here’s why Rockwall County goes blue for kids in April

Pictured are staff members of the Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County. Photo by BRN Media/Blue Ribbon News. 

Where healing begins…

ROCKWALL, TX (March 26, 2024) Every April during Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County initiates a Go Blue for Kids campaign that engages the entire community. Proclamations are issued, families gather for a kick-off event, local businesses offer “go blue” specials – even the pages of Blue Ribbon News “go blue” to raise awareness about the prevalence of physical and sexual abuse in our hometown.

This year’s campaign culminates with a CAC fundraising gala on April 27, but the nonprofit’s work continues year-round, 24 hours a day. Their dedicated team of forensic interviewers, family advocates and therapists – along with their partner agencies – stand ready to begin the process of hope and healing the moment a child makes an outcry. They have a team focused on the prevention of child abuse through raising awareness, providing education, and training adults and children on recognizing and reporting child abuse.

“The Children’s Advocacy Center is the only agency of its kind in our community. We work collaboratively with partner agencies to streamline an often complex and disturbing process,” said Patricia Mejia, President and CEO of the CACRC. “An abused child often carries a tremendous amount of shame, guilt, and fear. When they find the courage to finally make a disclosure, they want nothing more than for the abuse to stop. The Children’s Advocacy Center offers a safe, secure, and confidential environment – a place where children are seen, heard, and believed. The CAC is where healing begins.”

CAC partner agencies include law enforcement, Child Protective Services, the District Attorney’s office, medical and mental health professionals. Together they reduce re-victimization of the child, remove barriers to investigation and treatment, and enhance criminal prosecution with a distinctive multidisciplinary and united approach.

“We hope all of Rockwall County will go blue with us,” Mejia said. “We couldn’t do what we do without a caring community, generous donors and dedicated volunteers – not to mention our partner agencies, a heroic staff, and our powerhouse of a Board. We also have a growing team of ‘Blue Tie Guys’ – colleagues in the community who serve as champions for children in Rockwall County by speaking out about child abuse dynamics.”

The CACRC Executive Board comprises President Rick Carroll, Regional President of Inwood Bank; Vice President Felicia Oliphant, Rockwall County DA’s Office; Treasurer Kevin Hadawi, Wells Fargo; Secretary Dawn Redig, Blue Ribbon News; Parliamentarian Gary Freedman, the “Voice of Rockwall”; and Past President Cindy Lindley, Soroptimist International of Rockwall.

Directors include Kelli Delozier, HomeBank Texas; Mayor David Billings, City of Fate; Donas Cole, President, Baylor Scott & White-Lake Pointe; Karen Coughlin, Oldham Goodwin Group; Taryne Dismuke, Royse City ISD; Terry Garrett, Rockwall County Sheriff; Eva Hummel, Atmos Energy; Janet Nichol, Giggles & Grins Daycare Owner; Leigh-Ann Riley, DFPS CPI Program Administrator; Sheri Starkey-Parks, SMU; Cindy Tayem, Oncor, retired; JJ Villarreal, Rockwall ISD Superintendent; and Director Emeritus, Kenda Culpepper, Rockwall County DA.

Among ways to show your support: attend the kickoff party and gala; shop local “go blue” business supporters; buy a “go blue” t-shirt or yard sign; attend Pinwheels for Prevention at the historic Rockwall County Courthouse; participate in Prayer Sunday on April 28; and tie a blue ribbon around your mailbox, tree, or car antenna. Learn more at

Growing Demand

 The CACRC has served over 3,436 children and their families since opening its doors for full services in 2018. Unfortunately, as the population of Rockwall County grows, so does the need for services.

“The number of kids served by the CACRC has increased dramatically – from 179 children in 2018 to over 900 last year,” said Mejia. “Our current space – the “Soroptimist House” in Rockwall – has served us well. But as the size of our staff has grown to meet the demand, the size of the facility has remained the same, challenging our ability to provide a trauma informed approach.”

The CACRC is hard at work planning for future growth, so that no child in Rockwall County is turned away.  

Go Blue for Kids Kickoff Party 

Join the free, family-friendly event from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28 at Standard Service in Heath. Enjoy live entertainment, balloon artist, a rock climbing wall, Kid Zone activities, photo booth and more. While there, stop by the Teddy Bear Mobile Booth where folks will be making stuffed animals for purchase (and, of course, you may choose to donate a bear back to the CAC!) This year there will be a special appearance by the Easter Bunny from 4 to 6 p.m.

Go Blue for Kids Gala

Tickets and sponsorships are available for the CACRC’s signature event, the 8th Annual Go Blue for Kids Gala, on Saturday, April 27 at the Hilton. The evening will include dinner, drinks, live music, silent and live auctions, and dancing. Sponsor or buy gala tickets at:

Sponsored content. Blue Ribbon News is the proud Media Sponsor of the Go Blue for Kids Gala.

This morning the Rockwall County Commissioners Court issued the first of several proclamations that are scheduled throughout the county declaring April #GoBlueForKids Child Abuse Prevention Month. Staff, volunteers and board members of the Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County, Lone Star CASA, Rainbow Room Rockwall, law enforcement, the DA’s office and others donned blue ribbons and joined together to raise awareness and prevention of physical and sexual abuse in our community.

2024 Child Abuse Awareness Month Proclamations

Rockwall County and cities within the county proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, demonstrating that our community values prevention and prioritizes safe and happy childhoods. Attend an upcoming proclamation and stand against child abuse with us.

March 26           Rockwall County Historic Courthouse, 9AM

March 26           Royse City Police & Courts Building, 7PM

April 1                 Rockwall City Hall, 6PM

April 9                 Heath City Hall, 6:30PM

April 15              Fate City Hall, 6PM

April 23              McLendon-Chisholm City Hall, 6:30PM

Blue Sunday Prayer Request  

The last Sunday in April is ‘Blue Sunday’ – a day for the faith community to pray for the millions of victims of child abuse and for those working to provide hope and healing for them. While it might be easy to think that our community is immune, the sad truth is that there are many local children that deal with the effects of neglect as well as physical and sexual abuse.  On April 28, pray with us for the protection of children in Rockwall County.