“Without support from the community, grants and our ability to fundraise, we could not continue to exist,” Lincoln County Coalition Against Child Abuse Executive Director Sherry Reinhardt told the Times-News.
Reinhardt and other agency officials hope to receive a sizable donation from Saturday’s annual fundraiser, dubbed “The Price is Right for Fighting Child Abuse.”
The event has become a community staple over the last seven years and is modeled after the famous, long-standing television game show the Price is Right.
Reinhardt said Coalition and the organization’s Child Advocacy Center (CAC) offer free services to the public and without continued financial assistance would altogether cease.
“We cannot charge fees,” she said. “We run on grants and donations.”
Organization officials have their fingers crossed, hoping to collect their target goal of $20,000 from this weekend’s fundraiser, slightly more than the event’s most profitable year, in which donations totaled nearly $16,000, and almost double the amount the agency said it typically draws in, between $12,000 and $12,500.
Funds raised directly benefit Coalition and the CAC and are used to pay power pills and equipment maintenance fees as well as purchase medical and educational supplies. Money additionally covers officials’ continuing education class credits to ensure the agency maintains its national accreditation standards.
Between fundraising events and personal donations, the organization gains roughly $45,000 a year, an eighth of what officials calculate as their average annual budget — $365,000.
“We have to look to grant writing to fill in that budget,” Reinhardt said.
However, through the CAC’s work, the county has saved more than $200,000 in investigative costs alone, officials noted.
In addition to the event’s very own “Barker’s Beauties,” including Carolina Furniture Mart’s Stuart Boyles and Lincolnton firefighter Adam Dancoff, and numerous prizes including furniture, a full orthodontia treatment and family vacation package, the fundraiser will offer two additional games since upgrading its well-known wheel for one more grandiose in size, donated by local production group, the Backyard Players of Verdict Ridge.
“We have a brand new big, big wheel…almost a perfect replica of the original one on TV,” Reinhardt said.
Local television talent, Derek James, of FOX-Charlotte’s morning show Fox News Rising is also set to emcee the event.
However, more importantly than prize money and fun-filled activities is the event’s primary cause — helping locally abused children.
While organization officials said they all too often witness the aftereffects of children who have been abused at the hands of adults, they said the county had an influx this past year in child-on-child sexual abuse.
In addition, in 2012, the CAC was able to provide services and resources to nearly 200 child victims while reports of abused and neglected children exceeded well over 1,700, Reinhardt said.
Griffin’s Nationwide Insurance is also sponsoring Saturday’s fundraiser, which is set to kick off 7 p.m. at the James Warren Citizens Center in Lincolnton. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door or beforehand by calling (704) 736-1155. For more information, visit cac-lincolncounty.org.
Coalition Against Child Abuse was established in Lincoln County in 1992.