Brian Terry Vinyl & Aluminum Inc., C.W. Roberts Contracting Inc., Charles & Felicia Taylor, Christopher & Carol Smith, Collaborative Wealth, Dr. & Mrs. R. M. Valdez, Drew Davis Insurance Agency, Emogene W. Stegall, George & Myra Scott, George & Sharon McCabe, James & Barbara Logan, Janice Barnett, Jim & Paula Stinson, Jo Wiggins, Lake County Sheriff's Office, Lake County Women's Advocates, Lake Eye Associates, Lake Medical Imaging & Breast Center at The Villages, Lake OB-GYN Associates of Mid-Florida LLC, Lynn Burnsed Reeves, M. B. Fuller, M. Meredith Kirste P.A., Peggy W. Bryson, Phillips Toyota, SECO Energy, St. Luke's at The Villages, Stephanie Anderson, Stephen & Sheila Kurtz, Sumter County Sheriff's Office, Ted C. Prosser Jr., The Main Street Dentists Inc., UF Health, William & Robin Cauthen
Boyd Rental Inc., Don Allison, Donna Braun, Dr. & Mrs. F. M. Shami, Dr. Oludapo Soremi, Dura-Stress Inc., Enviro-Pro Tree Farm & Nursery Inc., Frank H. Topping & Christine J. Heaton, In Memory of Alex Ogilvie III, John & Ladonna Glover, Kacie Linton, Larry & Nancy Humes, New Song Community Church, Paul & Patricia Mueller, Peter Wahl, Richard & Martha Huff, Sammy Joe's Pizzeria Cafe, South Street Triplexes, Stephen & Elizabeth Knowles, Terry & John Neal, Wildwood Tire Company
Al & Teresia Moffett, Andy & Linda Clark, Bob & Colleen Wotring, Brent McRae Const. Inc., Candy Hoffman, Deborah Baas, Great Lakes Carpet & Tile, Jacqueline Summers, Jacqueline V. Talley, James Lewis, Logan Sitework Contractors Inc., Michael & Angela Hopkins, Nathan & Minetta Yoder, Paul & Joyce Buchanan, Peter Wahl, Randall & Carole Thompson, Robert Sackrider, Stephanie Anderson, Ted C. Prosser Jr., William & Robin Cauthen
Hewitt Environmental Systems
If you were not able to participate in our recent fundraiser auction, but still want to show your support, please click the Donate button below. All financial contributions made to the Lake Sumter Children's Advocacy Center are tax deductible.
In our January 2021 installment of “Child Chat”, we noted that there would be substantial modifications to our annual fundraiser called Bids4Kids. Traditionally, the event was a by- invitation-only, face-to-face soiree where our valued guests mixed and mingled, consumed scrumptious barbecue and bid vigorously on much-coveted auction prizes. However, in 2020 we were stopped in our tracks by the insidious COVID menace and forced to cancel our March event. No food. No festivities. No fun. Hiss! Boo!
Fast forward to March 2021. My, what a difference a year makes! Bids4Kids became living testimony to the old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Our Center pivoted from its conventional in-person auction format to a safer, health-conscious virtual auction. Working hand-in-hand with Qtego, a virtual fundraising facilitator for nonprofit organizations, we fashioned a bidding platform that permitted participants to view auctioned items on their respective digital devices and bid competitively any time, any day, from anywhere during the three-day bidding window. Oh, the wonders of technology!
Still, we recognized that there were pros and cons to “going virtual”. On the plus side, we were unconstrained by physical limitations. In past years we were essentially forced to hold a by-invitation-only event to ensure we would not overrun our venue’s capacity. This year, by virtue of digital access, we opened the bidding up to the public. All that was required was website registration and an assigned PIN. In past years we made arrangements for meals and drinks at the venue. Obviously, with no venue this year, that was not necessary (We leave it to previous guests to render their own judgements as to whether that was a positive or a negative!). In years prior Bids4Kids necessitated an “all hands on deck” approach with all Center staff needed to assist with planning, coordination and implementa- tion of the gala event. This year a select few staff, working with our Board and Qtego, made it all happen! And, of course, data tracking of number of items donated, number of participants, number of bids and total value of bids using an electronic medium was so simple! For the many pros, there were some inevitable losses. We lost the opportunity to be “live” and to socialize actively with our many friends. We lost the chance to ogle and touch the items being auctioned. We lost the excitement of the spirited “bidding wars” of a live auction.
In the end though, Bids4Kids 2021 was an unqualified success. Over 400 participants generated 1718 bids across 178 donated items. We at the Center thank everyone Involved most sincerely for their generosity— and our kids thank you even more!
A special letter from our Executive Director:
Please note: The LSCAC Child Protection Team (CPT) conducts forensic interviews with child survivors of physical abuse, sexual abuse and/or severe neglect. In some cases, an interview occurs the very day of a child’s victimization - at a time when that child is most vulnerable and suffering inexpressible pain. With utmost compassion and sensitivity, the interviewers extract crucial information from the child regarding the alleged trauma event. That information, combined with physical evidence collected in the course of the child’s obligatory medical examination, supports Law Enforcement, DCF and the State’s Attorney Office in their respective decision-making in the case. The case of “Amy” (named changed to preserve confidentiality), the subject of the following article, is illustrative of the exemplary collaborative efforts of CPT and counseling at LSCAC. Amy’s courage serves as enduring inspiration to us all.
When I contemplate the essential services we provide at our Center, my mind invariably turns to a former client named Amy. Amy was a tiny, timid, soft-spoken five-year-old when she first appeared before us, the victim of repeated acts of sexual battery committed by a once loved and trusted family member. As with many survivors of abuse, Amy expressed reluctance over identifying her perpetrator and detailing the trauma to which she had been subjected. Our conventional interventions, including a forensic interview, a medical examination and crisis counseling, would not initially shake that reluctance. Subsequently, Amy received several months of trauma-focused counseling, and time passed. When hope of bringing Amy’s perpetrator to justice was all but abandoned, Amy unexpectedly appeared before us once more. This time she presented with a louder voice, an assertive tone and a new-found confidence. It would seem that Amy was living testimony to the power of therapy. Though she admitted to being “scared to tell everything”, Amy named body parts, sexual acts, and, ultimately, the offending family member. It took two full years from our first encounter with Amy, but she finally got her day in court. With a trusty therapy dog by her side, she courageously faced down her perpetrator and recounted his heinous acts. And when it was done, Amy’s vicious attacker received a series of consecutive life sentences – all because of the compelling testimony of a brave little girl who found her voice and the justice she so richly deserved.
We are privileged to facilitate recovery for at-risk children as Amy every day at our Center. In fact, last year we provided life-changing services to over 1,000 children, including forensic interviews, medical examinations, crisis counseling and therapy. Amazingly, we provided all of these essential services at absolutely no charge to our families. It is through your generous financial support that we relieve families of financial burden and permit them to focus on their children’s trauma recovery.
We invite you to help us once again. Our annual Bids for Kids virtual fundraiser shall open for bidding on Thursday, March 11 at 9:00 a.m. and shall remain open until Saturday, March 13 at 8:00 p.m. We ask you to become a Corporate Sponsor at one of the levels listed on the attached sponsor agreement form. Your kind sponsorship shall help us continue to provide the necessary healing services to child survivors of abuse. We appreciate your generosity, compassion and support. Thank you!
Brenda S. Crellen, Executive Director
We offer four levels of corporate (or private) sponsorships each year. Contributions made to the Lake Sumter Children's Advocacy Center are tax deductible and acknowledged in writing. We also offer opportunities to sponsor a child's therapy either prior to Bids 4 Kids or at our Live Auction. The sponsorship levels are as follows:
In order to make our fundraiser auction a success and help raise money for the CAC, we sincerely appreciate the donation of items such as:
Please download, print and complete the form, then contact us by phone, fax, mail or email:
Bids 4 Kids Sponsor Agreement Form
We accept sponsorships via Visa or MC credit card, or you can make your check payable to "Lake Sumter Children's Advocacy Center."
Bids 4 Kids Auction Donation Form
We will contact you to confirm and arrange pick-up of items.
Phone: (352) 323-8303
Fax: (352) 323-1394
Mail: 300 S. Canal St., Leesburg, FL 34748
Email: email@example.com (you may scan your form and email it to us)
Contributions made to the Lake Sumter Children's Advocacy Center are tax deductible. If you have any questions about the Center or how to become a sponsor, please call us at (352) 323-8303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot be a sponsor at this time, please consider becoming a CAC Friend (donation under $500). Although we only have one big fundraiser per year, all contributions are gladly accepted throughout the year. Please consider a donation at any time.