Kudos Corner

Many thanks to everyone who contributes to our center and makes our work possible!

  • Texoma Health Foundation Grants Funds January 9, 2018
    The Texoma Health Foundation recently presented a grant for $50,000 to the Fannin County Children’s Center. Pictured here is Bill Wilson, President of McCraw Oil and Texoma Health Foundation board member, Kyra Barsi, Board President of the Children's Center, Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children's Center, Nicole Thornhill, Manager of Development for Texoma Health Foundation and Kitty Richardson, Chief Operating Officer of Texoma Health Foundation.

    The Texoma Health Foundation recently presented a grant for $50,000 to the Fannin County Children’s Center. Pictured here is Bill Wilson, President of McCraw Oil and Texoma Health Foundation board member, Kyra Barsi, Board President of the Children’s Center, Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center, Nicole Thornhill, Manager of Development for Texoma Health Foundation and Kitty Richardson, Chief Operating Officer of Texoma Health Foundation.

    Texoma Health Foundation recently awarded a grant of $50,000 to the Fannin County Children’s Center to address the medical and mental health needs of abused and neglected children in Fannin County and support child abuse prevention efforts as well.

    “We are thrilled that the Texoma Health Foundation has chosen to invest in our center and the children again,” said Children’s Center Executive Director Sandy Barber. “This year marks the fourth year in a row we have been blessed to be one of their grantees.”

    Grant funding for all four years totals $150,000. The grant to the Children’s Center was one of many awarded by the Foundation to nonprofits in Grayson, Fannin, Bryan and Marshall Counties to further the foundation’s mission to support the health and well-being of people.

    “We appreciate their generous investments in our center, in our kids and in our community,” said Barber. “We also appreciate how the board and staff of the foundation regularly are looking for ways they can give more than just money. The leadership, connections, ideas, energy and passion they give to making our community healthier is also a huge blessing!”

    The Children’s Center will use the funds to ensure that each child in foster care has a trained CASA volunteer to advocate for their medical and mental health needs. In addition, the grant will support the Children’s Advocacy Center’s efforts to provide child abuse victims with access to the specialized medical and mental health treatment they need to heal. The center will also use grant funds to train children, youth and adults in how to prevent, recognize and report child abuse.

  • Miller Foundation Gives January 8, 2018
    Two of the trustees from the MW and Fair Miller Foundation recently presented a check for $20,000 to the Fannin County Children’s Center.  Trustees Dr. Dana Sisk (left) and Dr. Jerry Hopson (right) are pictured with the Children’s Center’s Executive Director Sandy Barber (center).

    Two of the trustees from the MW and Fair Miller Foundation recently presented a check for $20,000 to the Fannin County Children’s Center. Trustees Dr. Dana Sisk (left) and Dr. Jerry Hopson (right) are pictured with the Children’s Center’s Executive Director Sandy Barber (center).

    Trustees with the M.W. and Fair Miller Foundation have been busy recently, giving generous grants to several local non-profits in Fannin County. A generous gift of $20,000 was granted to the Fannin County Children’s Center to support CASA and the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC).

    “We are thrilled to benefit from the foundation’s generosity again,” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. “This gift of $20,000 will help us sustain all of the ways we help children find safety and begin healing from abuse and neglect.”

    The M.W. and Fair Miller Foundation was incorporated in 1988 and organized for the betterment and care of the children in Fannin County. Currently serving on the Board of Trustees are Tyler Todd, Dr. Dana Sisk and Dr. Jerry Hopson.

    The Fannin County Children’s Center is a nonprofit agency that was incorporated in 1992 and began serving children in 1993. The center’s mission is promoting safety and improving the lives of abused and neglected children. Programs include CASA, Children’s Advocacy Center and child abuse prevention.

  • Christmas all wrapped up! December 28, 2017
    Students from LH Rather took a break from wrapping to meet Render.

    Students from LH Rather took a break from wrapping to meet Render.

    In all, 262 children served by the Fannin County Children’s Center had presents of clothes, shoes, coats, toys and other items to open on Christmas morning, thanks to many generous donors.

    “The number of children served grew by 48% this year,” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. “Fortunately, the people of Fannin County rose to the challenge and donations increased to meet the demand of providing presents to 86 more children than last year.”

    First National Bank of Trenton, Legend Bank, Tax Assessor Collector Office, Tractor Supply, Blessings and Butterflies, Cato’s, Warrior Tire and WalMart put up teddy bear trees to help the center collect presents. “Most of these locations have been doing this for more than a decade,” said Barber. “We are so grateful for their faithful support of our Christmas Drive.”

    United Methodist Women from Leonard were very generous donors once again!

    United Methodist Women from Leonard were very generous donors once again!

    “We are also grateful to all of our volunteers who helped wrap and deliver presents,” said Barber. “Once again, our volunteer wrappers included numerous student groups.” Students from Dodd City, Leonard, Trenton, Bonham and Morning Star helped wrap presents. Several of these groups also collected donations.

    Countless numbers of individuals, groups, churches and schools gave money and items to this effort. Presents of clothes, shoes, coats, toys and other items were given to the children and youth who are being served by CASA and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Some of the children are living in foster homes, away from family and friends. Other children have gone to live with grandparents or other relatives as a result of abuse or neglect. Many of these families struggle financially when one or more children suddenly come to live with them. In other families, the discovery of sexual abuse in the home has meant the loss of family income when the offender leaves.

    (See lots more Christmas photos on our Facebook page!)

  • Best Justice Is Served Ever! November 14, 2017

     Early estimates are that the 13th Annual “Justice Is Served” fundraiser raised about $54,000 for the Fannin County Children’s Center.  This amount tops the previous best of $50,000 from last year.  In addition, attendance was the largest ever, with more than 400 in attendance at the dinner and auction at the Complex in Bonham.

    Honorable servers who served up dinner and cold drinks for guests at a fundraiser for the Fannin County Children’s Center included (from left) Savoy Police Chief Carl Harrell, Justice of the Peace, Pct 1 Royse Smithey, Juvenile Probation Chief Brandon Caffee, Fannin County Judge Spanky Carter, State Senator Bob Hall, Congressman John Ratcliffe, Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson, Criminal District Attorney Richard Glaser, Bonham Police Chief Mike Bankston, State Rep. Larry Phillips, District Judge Lauri Blake, County Court at Law Judge Charles Butler, Adult Probation Chief Debra Roberts, Game Warden Randolph McGee, Justice of the Peace, Pct 3 Kenneth Karl, and County Clerk Tammy Biggars.

    Honorable servers who served up dinner and cold drinks for guests at a fundraiser for the Fannin County Children’s Center included (from left) Savoy Police Chief Carl Harrell, Justice of the Peace, Pct 1 Royse Smithey, Juvenile Probation Chief Brandon Caffee, Fannin County Judge Spanky Carter, State Senator Bob Hall, Congressman John Ratcliffe, Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson, Criminal District Attorney Richard Glaser, Bonham Police Chief Mike Bankston, State Rep. Larry Phillips, District Judge Lauri Blake, County Court at Law Judge Charles Butler, Adult Probation Chief Debra Roberts, Game Warden Randolph McGee, Justice of the Peace, Pct 3 Kenneth Karl, and County Clerk Tammy Biggars.

    Since the event was on Veteran’s Day, the organizers chose a patriotic theme. Many guests joined the fun by dressing in red, white and blue. Congressman John Ratcliffe, State Senator Bob Hall, State Representative Larry Phillips and several local officials of the justice system served up dinner and cold drinks to the guests. The James Dering band played jazz music while guests bid on more than 200 items in the silent auction.
    Fannin County Game Warden Randolph McGee was the auctioneer for the evening. Judge Lauri Blake’s turtle brownies were the first item up for bid in the live auction and brought in $1000. A custom built entry way gate from Jason Garner Welding got the top bid in the live auction, bringing in $3000 for the nonprofit. A framed Dallas Cowboy jersey autographed by Troy Aikman and donated by Dr. Lee Schreiber sold for $1800.

    Adding to the excitement of the evening, McGee brought TV camera crews from “Lone Star Law” with him to the event. “Lone Star Law” is a documentary show on the Animal Planet channel that highlights the work of game wardens in Texas.

    MG41Undoubtedly the star of the evening was Render, the courthouse facility dog and newest member of the Children’s Center staff. He spent much of the evening at the photo booth, posing for photos with guests and giving kisses when he could.

    “This was clearly our best Justice Is Served ever,” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. “This event is such a team effort of our board, staff and volunteers. The Fannin County community turned out in force this year. It is inspiring and encouraging to see so much generous support for the children we serve. We are so grateful to everyone who played a part in making this event so successful. Funds raised will help us keep up with the growing demand for our services.”

    All proceeds from the event will sustain all of the support services provided by the Children’s Center for abused and neglected children, including CASA and the Children’s Advocacy Center.

  • 5 New CASA Advocates October 23, 2017

    New CASA Vol Fall 2017 (2)CASA advocates for children in foster care. The Honorable Judge Lauri Blake of the 336th District Court administered the oath to the new volunteers. New child advocates include Jarrett Tucker, Danny Loyd, Jennifer Smith, Ray McGovern and Kathy McGovern.

    “We are delighted to welcome this group of advocates to our team,” said Sandy Barber with the Fannin County Children’s Center, which includes the local CASA program.

    In the year ending August 31, 2017, CASA served 118 children, which was a 42% increase over the previous year. In that same year, the number of court hearings CASA attended increased 74% and the number of active volunteers increased 68%.

    All volunteers completed an intensive training class which prepares them to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children who have been removed from their home due to abuse and neglect. The district judge appoints CASA volunteers to serve as the Guardian ad Litem for each child who has been placed in the state’s custody. In that role, CASA advocates investigate the child’s situation, prepare written reports to the court and advocate for the child’s best interest in court hearings and other settings.

    CASA is one program of several programs for abused and neglected children that are operated by the Fannin County Children’s Center. For more information on becoming a CASA, click here.

  • McCraw Oil and Kwik Chek Golf Tournament September 26, 2017
     Kwik Chek and McCraw Oil raised $52,000 for CASA programs at a charity fishing and golfing tournament at Tanglewood Resorts. (from left) Bill Wilson, Sandy Barber, Kevin Smartt, Sherry Capehart, Kara Hobbs and Doyce Taylor.

    Kwik Chek and McCraw Oil raised $52,000 for CASA programs at a charity fishing and golfing tournament at Tanglewood Resorts. (from left) Bill Wilson, Sandy Barber, Kevin Smartt, Sherry Capehart, Kara Hobbs and Doyce Taylor.

    For 22 years, McCraw Oil and Kwik Chek have been hosting an annual charity golf tournament. For the last 10 years, CASA has been the beneficiary of the event. In the past decade, this event has raised more than a half million dollars to help sustain this non-profit that serves children in foster care.

    This year the event raised $52,000 for CASA programs, which brings the 10 year grand total to $504,000. This year’s tournament was held at Tanglewood Resort in Pottsboro.

    “It really is an honor to be able to support the CASA organization with our annual fundraising efforts,” said Smartt. “They are an organization with caring volunteers doing a great job to help represent children in very difficult circumstances. It is something that our Kwik Chek and McCraw Oil employees believe in and take pride in contributing to such an essential organization. Our goal is to continue to find new ways to help increase fundraising and awareness of CASA and what they do for the children and families in our community.”

    This year’s event also included a fishing tournament the day before the golf tournament. Fishing winners were first place: Corey Esser, with Pepsi; second place: Silas Stewart with Pepsi and third place: Chad Ellis with Verifone.

    First place team in the golf tournament was sponsored by Pepsi, General Mills and Crossmark and included David Staeheli, Curt Webber, Corey Esser, Silas Stewart, Lindsey Hansen and Henry McDonald. Second place team was sponsored by First United Bank and included Dennis Garrett, Brett Rogers, Bert Davison, Kyle Million, Justin Scott and John Hoefer. Third place team was sponsored by Legend Bank and Altria and included Jon Sisk, Danny Stroud, Charlie Jo Cary, Bill Yarbro, Miguel Lopez-Vergara and Keith Zack.
    CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, recruits and trains volunteers to become advocates for children in foster care. When a judge determines that a child is no longer safe in their own home, CASA is assigned to gather information and make recommendations to the courts about what would be best for the child.

    Tournament proceeds will be donated to local CASA program across Texas in the same communities where Kwik Chek and McCraw Oil do business. Some funds will also be given to Texas CASA, which is the state association that provides training, technical assistance and other support to local CASA programs.

    “We cannot say thank you enough to everyone at Kwik Chek and McCraw Oil. Their generous vendors and hard-working, dedicated employees make this a great event every year,” said Sandy Barber, director of the Fannin County Children’s Center which is one of the local CASA programs to benefit from the event.

  • Another Successful School Supply Drive September 11, 2017
    Employees from the VA in Bonham collected an enormous number of supplies this year.

    Employees from the VA in Bonham collected an enormous number of supplies this year.

    A total of 588 students from all over Fannin County received free school supplies to start the new school year, thanks to a generous community. This year marked the 21st year that the Fannin County Children’s Center has provided school supplies to needy children and youth. The number of students served this year was more than in the last two years.

    “Once again, we are thrilled to have so much local community support – both volunteers and donors – who make this effort possible,” said Barber. “School kids from all over the county were able to start the school year prepared due to the generosity and hard work of many people.”

    The Bonham VA collected an enormous number of supplies. Many other businesses, churches and individuals also donated to the effort.

    The youth groups from Lannius Church of God and First Presbyterian each volunteered their time and efforts to move, sort, organize and prep supplies. Several other volunteers also made this project possible.

    The mission of the Children’s Center is promoting safety and improving the lives of abused and neglected children. In addition to the annual school supply drive, the center operates CASA, Children’s Advocacy Center and child abuse prevention programs.

    Volunteers from First Presbyterian Church of Bonham helped move, sort and organize supplies.

    Volunteers from First Presbyterian Church of Bonham helped move, sort and organize suppliescc.org.

    Volunteers from Lannius Church of God helped prepare lots of bags of school supplies!

    Volunteers from Lannius Church of God helped prepare lots of bags of school supplies!

  • Art Contest Winners April 10, 2017
    Jewyll Hemby won first place

    Jewyll Hemby won first place

    Eight year old Jewyll Hemby took home the top prize in the Open Your Heart Art Contest sponsored by the Fannin County Children’s Center. Hemby is a second grader at Morning Star Academy. She won $100 and a blue ribbon for her artwork that will now be featured on the front of the Open Your Heart campaign cards. After she was given her prizes and posed for a photo, Jewyll donated her prize money back to the center to help other children.

    Nine year old Hailey Kempton won second place and will have her artwork featured on the inside of the cards. She won $50 and a red ribbon. Kempton is a third grader at Finley Oates Elementary in Bonham.

    Hailey Kempton won second place

    Hailey Kempton won second place

    The winning artwork will be featured in upcoming fundraising campaign for the Children’s Center. Funds raised will support all services provided by the center, including CASA, Children’s Advocacy Center and child abuse prevention efforts. As a non-profit, the center relies on grants and donations to be able to offer their services for no cost to victims of child abuse and neglect.

    CASA recruits, screens, trains and supervises volunteer advocates for children in foster care. Children’s Advocacy Center facilitates a multidisciplinary team of public and private agencies involved in the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse. Child abuse prevention efforts include classes are offered for children, youth and adults.

    For upcoming class schedule and more about the center, go to: prevention

    Give Now

  • 11 New CASA Advocates March 27, 2017
    New CASA Advocates - Speing 2017

    New CASA Advocates – Spring 2017

    Eleven local people recently completed training and were sworn-in to become volunteer CASA advocates for children in foster care. The Honorable Judge John McCraw, Jr. administered the oath to the new volunteers as he was the visiting judge filling in for 336th District Judge Lauri Blake. New child advocates include Debbie Irvin, Nancy Burpo, Wendi Lindsey, Paula Chambers, Morgan Kelso, Heather Molsbee, Alice Creecy, Kaylen Hutchins, Kelly LeBrun, Shawn Look and Mike Nejtek.

    “We are thrilled to welcome this large group of advocates to our team,” said Sandy Barber with the Fannin County Children’s Center, which includes the local CASA program.

    “Nearly all of the new advocates will be accepting cases immediately, which will bring us back to serving 100% of our cases with volunteers,” said Barber. “Our CASA caseload has been growing and we have been working hard to keep up with the increasing demand.”

    In the year ending August 31, 2016, CASA served 83 children. This number has more than doubled in the last two years. In the first six month of the current fiscal year, CASA has already served 92 children.

    All volunteers completed an intensive training class which prepares them to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children who have been removed from their home due to abuse and neglect. The district judge appoints CASA volunteers to serve as the Guardian ad Litem for each child who has been placed in the state’s custody. In that role, CASA advocates investigate the child’s situation, prepare written reports to the court and advocate for the child’s best interest in court hearings and other settings.

    CASA is one program of several programs for abused and neglected children that are operated by the Fannin County Children’s Center. For more information on becoming a CASA, call (903) 583-4339 or go here

  • Matthews Children’s Foundation March 27, 2017

     

    Matthew 2017

    Matthew’s Children’s Foundation Gives to Children’s Center – Stephen Murden of Wise Funeral Home presents a donation of $1,000 to Sandy Barber with the Fannin County Children’s Center.  The gift is from the Matthew’s Children’s Foundation and is designated to help recruit, screen and train more CASA volunteers to be advocates for children in foster care.