Fundraising Campaign for a BBQ in Panama City, Florida to Help Abused Children

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PANAMA CITY – If live country music from Caleb Daugherty’s group, a cornhole tournament, two fun races, a barbecue and a scavenger hunt won’t draw you to McKenzie Park on Friday night and Saturday to raise money for the Gulf Coast Children’s Defense Center, an organizer offers another item for your plate of consideration.

“The simple answer is that as a member of the CCA Board of Directors, I know exactly where the funds raised are going – right here for our children – and if you cannot support a cause that supports and helps children. who are the victims of crime, child abuse, neglect, so what cause can you support? ”said Jeremy Mathis, who, as a lieutenant in the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, sees first hand damage to children. “Every penny will stay right here in the 14th Judicial Circuit to help these children.”

DOCUMENTED RECONSTRUCTED BEDROOM:The fight against child abuse, the reconstruction of the center for the defense of children in Panama City, to highlight

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Attending the event to hear the music and watch the fun – and the all-important Payton Air BBQ contest which will judge 14 entrants from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – is free. Vendors will offer barbecues and other items for sale and anyone who feels they have the right touch for a small cornhole can enter a team for a fee of $ 25 and a chance to win the prize of $ 250.

Event sponsors like Payton Air and Keefe & Sons have made sure everyone can enjoy the sounds of The Caleb Daugherty Band and Corey Keefe, based in Nashville, who will perform on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 30 and again on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. pm with the Highway 167 group.

Lori Allen

The event and the need for fundraising is crucial for ACE Executive Director Lori Allen, who after 10 years in the role knows what it takes to make things work. She said there were two key factors behind the need for funding which turned into this weekend’s event.

“The past two years have been difficult for everyone due to the impact of Hurricane Michael and then the pandemic on top of everything that has led to the need for us to host a special event,” he said. Allen said. “This is one of the first big events that we had, we bring a group, because we need these unlimited dollars to take care of many things in different areas.”

Allen said that while the CAC gets much of its funding from court fees paid by offenders to offset the cost of helping juvenile victims, there are also large government grants that require some kind of local matching. A multi-million dollar grant he has received, for example, requires a local counterpart of 25%. If this money is not collected, the grant is at risk and may not be received again.

And the importance of money from fundraising being “unrestricted” is critical to CCC services, as it covers items that cannot be purchased with specific funding for certain services provided by CCC.

“A lot of the funding is really limited; we need this money for things you might not think of, like we have kids who come in the middle of the night and haven’t eaten for two days. Get them something to eat before they have their medical exam, and we have to pay for it, ”Allen said. “There are also specialty items that are not covered, like we have times when people need glasses or children going outside the house and people may not yet have glasses. reads for them Even kids … who want to play in a soccer league but parent placement can’t afford it We can use it to help you.

“This allows us to cover all the needs of a child who is affected by abuse or sexual violence.”

These needs are great, said Mathis, and acknowledged by Sheriff Tommy Ford, who has ensured that his agency works closely with the CAC to bring the cases together while helping victims with as little fear as possible. The sheriff’s office, for example, has an investigator who works full time outside of the CCC.

“The CAC is a one-stop-shop. As cliché as it sounds, it really is, one place children can go to be questioned about the crime of which they are victims, to be seen medically. and injuries, documented by medical staff, and receive trauma treatment and therapy for the results of this act, all under one roof, “Mathis said.” This is the one constant in their lives throughout. the process, and having it all in one place has proven to be the best model nationally for the successful pursuit of this business.

Saturday’s events are aimed at families. Mathis said there was something for everyone, thanks to CAOT Volunteer Coordinator Shannon Rodriguez.

“Without Shannon this event never starts,” Mathis said.

The weather seemed clear but warm, and Mathis and Allen were ready to welcome the guests.

“If you think you can’t cook a competitive barbecue, but think you’re good enough at the cornhole, come down,” Mathis said. “You’ll be glad you did.



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