First Posted: 2/15/2009
The Childrens Center of Surrys Heart of a Child fundraiser and 15th year anniversary held on Valentines Day was a big hit among guests at Cross Creek Country Club as it raised more than $14,000 for the non-profit organization that helps children in need.
Robin Testerman, the executive director of the Childrens Center of Surry, thanked the crowd for their continued support.
I would like to thank you for joining us this evening to celebrate The Heart of a Child. Fifteen years ago a group of dedicated community volunteers had a vision that children needed a safe and nurturing environment in which they could thrive. They worked tirelessly and sacrificed many hours to make this vision come to life. Fifteen years later, I hope we have carried out their vision and made them proud, Testerman said.
The heart of a child is a precious gift, and the Childrens Center of Surry is dedicated to ensuring that children in our community are given a chance to have their hearts nurtured and loved, Testerman said.
One of the founding members of the Childrens Center is David Swann, who is also the chief executive officer of Crossroads Behavioral Center, said he feels that the need for services from the Childrens Center are on the rise.
Our fundraisers have been historical events and have enabled us to keep operating at the Centers Center. We want to be able to continue to provide these necessary programs for children in need of housing and services. We work with a lot of at-risk kids. We want to make sure they stay in school and receive the necessary counseling and services that will help them succeed in life, Swann said.
Another founding board member, J.D. Bartley, said many people have worked hard over the years to ensure the success of the Childrens Center.
In the beginning we had a lot of support from the county commissioners. Jim Pendleton and Buck Golding, who were commissioners 15 years ago, when we first got started, gave us the land to get started. Since then the commissioners havent appropriated money to help us keep going. So far we have been able to survive and stay open through fundraisers like this one. Our board is so good. I have to give credit to Barbara Anderson who helped open the Childrens Center 15 years ago. Cory Tucker, who is our current chairman, has worked so hard as well. I cant say enough wonderful things about everyone who has played a role in keeping the Childrens Center going all of these years, Bartley said.
Barbara Anderson, who was also in attendance at the event, is a former Department of Social Services director in Surry County. She said it all started with the need to find homes for five children.
It all started when we had to pick up a family of five children. It took our social workers every bit of 48 hours, working night and day to find them foster homes. They finally got them in three different foster homes. But we realized then that there was a need in the county to provide a shelter for children in need. It took five years to get started, but we didnt give up. Thats how it all got started, Anderson said.
She said all of the children were eventually adopted and are doing well.
Activities for the event included recognition of special guests, dinner, comic entertainment, a DJ, a 50/50 drawing and a silent auction. The majority of the funding for the Center comes from their annual fundraiser.
Now the Center provides programs such as residential care, which offers shelter, care and nurturing for abused and neglected children; respite, which provides temporary placement for children and families that need support; after school tutoring for children to improve their academic success; a Parents and Teachers Program; Ladybugs, which is a peer group for middle school girls to improve positive choices and self-esteem; All About Respect, a peer group for middle school boys to improve social and life skills; Parenting classes, for parents and children, birth to 18 year-old; Surry Youth Achievement Program, to improve the social life and academic skills of at risk students; Nurturing Parenting Program, that is an in-home parenting education and support as well as parenting classes throughout the county; and Strengthening Families, a parenting, life and social skills group for parents and their children based on their strengths.
More information about the Childrens Center of Surry is available at www.surrychildren.com.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.