Gala ben­e­fits chil­dren

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By JULIE DRAKE Val­ley Press Staff Writer

LAN­CASTER — The Chil­dren’s Cen­ter of the An­te­lope Val­ley will cel­e­brate its 32nd year with the an­nual Heart­sounds Char­ity Gala, whose theme is “A Sweet­heart’s Ball,” Satur­day in the H.W. Hunter Pav­il­ion at the An­te­lope Val­ley Fair­grounds.

The black-tie op­tional event will fea­ture a retro sup­per club theme with live din­ner theater and Art Deco decor. The goal is to raise funds for treat­ment and ther­apy for chil­dren and fam­i­lies af­fected by abuse in the An­te­lope Val­ley.

The gala will fea­ture 10 live auc­tion items and more than 200 silent auc­tion items.

“We don’t need to ad­ver­tise for clients but what we do need is to ex­pand aware­ness that this is an avail­able re­source,” Heart­sounds co-chair­woman Kim­berly Nor­ris said.

All do­nated funds re­main within the lo­cal com­mu­nity, with $0.92 cents of each dol­lar go­ing di­rectly to serve Chil­dren’s Cen­ter clients.

“We want to cel­e­brate the good work, the hard work, that some are do­ing in our com­mu­nity and we want to wrap around and sup­port it,” Nor­ris said.

The Chil­dren’s Cen­ter has out­grown its build­ing on Fern Av­enue. It needs more space for other pro­grams such as Neigh­bor­hood Le­gal Ser­vices of Los An­ge­les County that pro­vide le­gal ser­vices for Chil­dren’s Cen­ter clients.

“Our build­ing was re­ally de­signed for small chil­dren, but now over the years, we’ve found that we re­ally need to fo­cus on teens, es­pe­cially the kids that are ag­ing out of fos­ter care that are go­ing to be home­less,” Donna Gad­dis, com­pli­ance man­ager for the Chil­dren’s Cen­ter of the An­te­lope Val­ley, said.

Chil­dren Cen­ter Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Sue Page said the Heart­sounds Char­ity Gala is the cen­ter’s pri­mary fundraiser.

The money raised can help pay for in­sur­ance for clients who do not have any.

“It just sup­plants the pro­grams be­cause the pro­grams (grant funds) don’t pay for ev­ery­thing we need,” she said.

Founded in 1988 by a group of doc­tors and com­mu­nity lead­ers, the Chil­dren’s Cen­ter of the An­te­lope Val­ley is a pri­vate, non­profit health care or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides a con­tin­uum of ser­vices to child vic­tims of abuse, chil­dren at risk of abuse and their fam­i­lies. The An­te­lope Val­ley was once so well known as a child abuse cap­i­tal, that Time mag­a­zine fea­tured it.

“The emer­gency room doc­tors at AV Hos­pi­tal said, ‘What are we go­ing to do? We’re see­ing these chil­dren come in abused and then we just sent them back home. What can we do to help their trauma? What

can we do to help them move for­ward in life,’” Page said.

The Chil­dren’s Cen­ter orig­i­nally opened in a small of­fice on Av­enue M.

Ser­vices in­clude preven­tion pro­gram and com­mu­nity aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion, ad­vanc­ing the Cen­ter’s mis­sion, “To pro­mote heal­ing and pro­vide pro­tec­tion from abuse through ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pert care for chil­dren and fam­i­lies in the An­te­lope Val­ley.”

The Heart­sounds Gala is sched­uled to be­gin at 5:30 p.m., Satur­day in the Hunter Pav­il­ion at the An­te­lope Val­ley Fair­grounds, 2551 West Ave. H.

Each tax de­ductible ticket costs $125.

To pur­chase tick­ets call the Chil­dren’s Cen­ter at 661-949-1206 ext. 289 or visit www.ccav.org/ heart­sounds or at www. eventbrite.com (search Heart­sounds). For de­tails visit Face­book @chil­dren­scen­terav.

JULIE DRAKE/VAL­LEY PRESS

The Chil­dren’s Cen­ter of the An­te­lope Val­ley Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Sue Page holds a cus­tom-made sad­dle crafted by her brother-in-law, that is one of the auc­tion items avail­able for bids at the Heart­sounds Char­ity Gala Satur­day night in the H.W. Hunter Pav­il­ion at the An­te­lope Val­ley Fair­grounds.

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