Around 250 people attended the 25th Anniversary Gala for the Fannin County Children’s Center. The Complex in Bonham was decorated in a silver theme, including silver balloons of stars and the numbers “25” for the silver anniversary celebration of the local non-profit that serves abused and neglected children.
Board president Kyra Barsi welcomed everyone to the event and board member Rev. Dana Coker gave the opening prayer. Executive Director Sandy Barber talked about how so much has been accomplished because so many individuals have done what they could do.
CASA was started by Paula Spindle, who had a dream of helping children involved in the court system. She recruited other individuals to serve as board members and volunteers and gained the support of the local courts and Child Protective Services. Over the years, the center continued to grow and expand to serve more children, including the addition of the Children’s Advocacy Center.
CASA Program Director Sandy Hood talked about how CASA volunteer have made a difference in the lives of children and recognized all of the current and former CASA volunteers in attendance. CAC Program Director Kassi Lightfoot recognized each of the partner agencies that make up the Children’s Advocacy Center and recognized all of the current and past multidisciplinary team members in attendance. Andrea Lappin who serves as the Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator talked about all the other ways volunteers contribute at the center, including wrapping Christmas presents, preparing and giving away school supplies, setting up and cleaning up for Justice Is Served, cleaning the center, helping with newsletters and more. She too, recognized all current and past volunteers in attendance. Barber spoke about the significant impact that the 336th District Judge, board members and staff members have made over the years and recognized the ones in attendance.
The center unveiled a new video that was created to tell the agency’s history, impact and dreams for the future. While guests enjoyed a delicious dinner, the Bonham High School jazz band played and a slide show of photos from the 25-year history of the center ran on continuous loop. Both the video and photo slide show are now posted on the center’s website.
President-elect Brenda Magness and Past President Bill Wilson are leading the center’s Facility Task Force that was formed last year. They spoke about the center’s dream of a new facility and all the work that has already gone into looking at other centers, talking to key stakeholders and making plans for a larger facility. They spoke about how the center has out-grown the current location and the dreams for the future facility.