March/April 2014 Newsletter
Volume 5:1
Welcome to the Florida Network of Children's Advocacy Centers' Newsletter!
We are excited to present news from nearly half of Florida's Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) in this issue!  While the services and programs that each center offers varies from CAC to CAC, the mission is the same.  Across the state, CACs provide invaluable services to children and families impacted by child abuse and neglect. This newsletter offers a mere glimpse of the extraordinary events and achievements Florida CACs and community partners accomplished in the past few months- and their plans for the near future.
Our centers and several other Florida agencies are gearing up for April's Child Abuse Prevention Month. CACs around the state will be hosting events that raise awareness and funds to prevent child abuse and help turn survivors into thrivers. Be sure to check out the calendar at the end of this newsletter; it's brimming with events to promote awareness and prevention of child abuse and neglect.
FNCAC will continue its efforts at the capitol, lobbying for increased funding and awareness to improve Florida's response to child abuse. Additionally, we will once again be a "One Voice" non-profit partner with the United Way's "Children's Week," and will host a table during Children's Day at the Capitol.
We hope you'll continue to get involved in supporting Child Advocacy Centers and making a stand against child abuse.
Yours truly,
John Knight 
Chief Executive Officer
Florida Network of Children's Advocacy Centers  

2014 Krimes Against Kids Conference Update

Preparations are in full swing for the 2014 Florida Krimes Against Kids Conference. Our annual conference will be held at Disney's Yacht Club Resort July 30th through August 1st.  This year we have over 25 presenters from diverse backgrounds who have prepared a total of 30 unique workshops.  
The 2014 conference brochure will arrive in mailboxes in early April and is now available online.  Make sure to book your rooms early and mention the conference for the special discounted rate ($149/night).
Check us out on Twitter for updates, and get connected with others (#KrimeStopper).
For more information about the conference, registration, accommodations, sponsorship opportunities, and more- please visit our website:

CAC, Inc.-Gainesville

Child Advocacy Center, Inc.'s "Gainesville Gone Austin" event raises $85,000!
Gainesville Gone Austin 2013

The 5th annual Gainesville Gone Austin event held on November 7th, 2013 at Santa Fe River Ranch in Alachua, Fl raised a record breaking $85,000 for the CAC's programs and services.  Over 600 people attended the event which featured food from Chuy's Gainesville, a live and silent auction, roasted oysters, and a speech by Christine Brown, an abuse survivor whose life was changed by working with a CAC. The Center is looking forward to the 6th annual event scheduled for October 16th, 2014.


3rd Annual Wing Bowl
April 8th, 2014
2013 Wing Bowl Winners

Team Dynamo and Cohen &

 Montini Orthodontics present: 

The 3rdGainesville Wing Bowl

Six teams will compete in this timed chicken wing eating competition: Alachua County Sheriff's Office vs. FireRescue Professionals of Alachua County; Students vs. Superheroes; and the reigning two time champion Gator Greats in a rematch vs. The Wild Cards.

Prizes will be awarded to the team that eats the most chicken wings and places first in the wing bowl competition. Family-friendly activities including discounted bowling will be available at the event. Tickets cost $20 per adult and $5 per child under the age of 10. Dinner is included in the price of the ticket. 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit abused and neglected children served by the Child Advocacy Center, Inc.


 3rd Gainesville Duck Derby

April 13th, 2014

 This year's Duck Derby will feature thousands of rubber ducks!

Campus USA Credit Union Presents the 3rd Gainesville Duck Derby to benefit the Child Advocacy Center and Children's Home Society of Florida.  The event will feature a rubber duck race with as many as 5,000 rubber ducks. 1st place prize is $1,000; 2nd place-4 tickets to Universal Studios; 3rd place- Family Fun Run Pack.  The event will also feature food from local restaurants, games and activities for the whole family, and a Fun Run ($5).  

Visit the website for more details:

Submitted by Margot Wilder

CAC for Osceola County, Inc.


Central Florida's Next Big Star, the CAC's annual fundraiser is in the works and we'd love to have you come out for a great night of fun, food, silent & live auctions, a photo booth - and of course, a fantastic show in which 10 incredible singers will compete for a $1,000 prize!


The date is Saturday, April 5, 2014, from 6:00-10:00 p.m. at The Rosen Centre Hotel on International Drive. Tickets are $75 per person, parking is complimentary - and the evening will be a great one! Please join us and help our efforts to support abused and neglected children in our community. Click her for more information, or buy tickets by clicking this link.

Submitted by Joy Chuba

CAC of Southwest Florida- Ft. Myers
Be a part of Lauren's Walk
March 30th, 2014
Join the CAC of Southwest Florida (Ft. Myers) for Lauren Book's 5th Annual "Walk in My Shoes" journey as she walks 1,500 miles from Key West to Tallahassee to bring awareness to the issue of child sexual abuse and advocates for prevention and legislative change.  Come walk for a minute, a mile, or the whole Ft. Myers route and help us make a difference for children. For more information click here.

Angels Visit East United Way House
CAC is the lead agency at the East United Way House, a bilingual, multi-agency community-based resource center designed specifically to serve the community of East Fort Myers.  One of the services we provide there is our Food4U choice food pantry.  In recent months East United Way House had two wonderful and unexpected acts of kindness- just in the nick of time! Read about these supportive angels by clicking here.
Submitted by Lisa Rizzio
CHS of Florida CAC


The Florida Marine Raiders, indoor football team, actively supports Children's Home Society of Florida.  
For every Saturday night game ticket sold, they are donating $1 back to CHS.  To help us advocate for the needs of our children, they have also agreed to post statistics and messages on their scoreboard, Facebook page, and in their program. Read the opinion piece Florida Marine Raiders' owner, Michael Mink, submitted to the Ledger and local papers to increase awareness during the month of April here.

Submitted by Ellen Boczarski

Children's Justice Center- Tampa
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Training will be offered by the 13th Judicial Circuit- Administrative Office of the Court's CAC and the Tampa Bay Rescue and Restore Coalition.  The 3+ training sessions, in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, are designed for service providers and community members who would like to gain awareness, understanding, and insight into CSEC throughout April.  Sessions are $10 each and registration is required.  For more details, click here.
Submitted by Trish Waterman
Child Protection Center


An eventful six months for the Child Protection Center, Sarasota

All five of our programs have flourished with new staff additions and grant success!  We would like to thank the William and Harriett Sturdevant Charitable Trust for the grant award of $10,000 for CPC's Personal Safety and Community Awareness program.  With the assistance of this funding, CPC will educate and inform children, professionals working with children and the community-at-large about indicators of child abuse, as well as, primary personal safety education for children on the Touching Rule, anti-bullying messages and internet safety!  Our Personal Safety Program sees over 25,000 individuals annually and is thankful for the support of our community.

Executive Director Doug Staley poses with the City of North Port's Proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month
We are already gearing up for April and working with local municipalities to formally declare April to be Child Abuse Prevention Month.  On Monday, February 24th the City of North Port proclaimed April to be Child Abuse Prevention Month and committed to supporting CPC in raising awareness of this devastating issue. 
Supervised Visitation Team accepts trophy at February's United Way of South Sarasota County Walk-a-Thon
Our Supervised Visitation Program participated in the United Way of South Sarasota Annual Walk-a-Thon to raise funds to support this essential program for our community.  CPC continued our partnerships with local universities in providing Internship Opportunities for therapists completing their graduate degrees in our Sexual Abuse Treatment Program.  We also welcomed two new Case Coordinators to our Child Protection Team and look forward to the impact they will make in the lives of children.
There will be numerous Child Abuse Prevention Month celebrations in the Sarasota area. Click here for the list.
Submitted by Ella Lewis & Doug Staley
Citrus County CAC


A new home for Jessie's Place!!!

In July 2013, Commissioners in Citrus County voted to provide Jessie's Place use of a county owned building for its new facility. Only minor renovations were required to make the building perfect for CAC operations and the doors officially re-opened on February 1, 2014. 
New, kid-friendly Citrus County CAC lobby
The rustic building sits atop the hill, surrounded by oak trees and peaceful pastures, and is the perfect setting to start the healing process...helping each and every child that comes through our doors feel like a child again.

Therapy room at the new building
Submitted by Melissa Bowermaster
Gulf Coast CAC
Panama City 


Zombie Run

On March 15, 2014, HG Harder's Park, Panama City, Florida was the site of a zombie apocalypse.  Hundreds of Bay County runners are staying away from Harder's Park after a spooky 5K run. The Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center held its first Zombie Run Saturday morning at the park.  About 300 zombies all around Harder's Park waited to frighten more than 350 runners at Saturday's Zombie Run.  Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center organizers came up with the idea after staffers agreed zombies are becoming popular again. They say Harder's Park was the ideal location for the event.


"This location was perfect because a lot of people know it for the haunted hayride. There are lots of eerie and creepy things out in the woods along the way and it worked out perfectly for a zombie apocalypse," said Lori Allen of the Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center. Read more of this press release here.


Stars & Guitars 

On January 28, 2014, Panama City, Florida was the home of a magical night all about helping local children.  Jason Aldean, Tyler Farr, Joe Diffie, Tracy Lawrence, and Deana Carter sparked the night by lending their time and talent to help thousands of local children affected by child abuse and neglect each year.  In the third annual Stars & Guitars benefit concert, close to $70,000 was raised for these special victims.  The night was spectacular, and those attending appreciated the sincerity of the artists, their stories, jokes, and unique collaborations, including Jason Aldean and Tracy Lawrence's "I'm Over You" by the late, Keith Whitley.   Read more....

Submitted by Lori Allen
Gulf Coast Kid's House
Gulf Coast Kid's House (GCKH) will unveil the world's largest pinwheel on the Kid's House property during the month of April. Community partners Baskerville-Donovan, Fluid Metalworks, and Vital Signs, are helping to create this structure - which honors the national Pinwheels for Prevention and local From Blue to Better campaigns bringing awareness to the issue of child abuse during April's Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The pinwheel has an 8-feet-high stem and is 10 feet in diameter in an attempt to earn a place in the Guinness World Book of Records. The impressive pinwheel will be a permanent part of the child-friendly landscape at GCKH reminding viewers to initiate child abuse prevention methods year round.   

Submitted by Stacey Kostevicki

Kids House of Seminole
Field of Dreams Gala
Kids House Wayne Densch Children's Advocacy Center proudly presents their 7th Annual signature event Field of Dreams Gala on April 26th at the CFE Arena at UCF.  This is a great evening out while supporting an extraordinary cause that benefits over 2,000 children and families that have been victims of abuse.  All the proceeds and donations go toward our programs and services that are critically needed for our children.  

This elegant event offers creative sports-themed twists, great dining, premium open bar, silent and live auctions, and incredible live entertainment.  Please show your support and look forward to making this a record breaking year.  Please contact Ana Pagan at or call (407) 324-3036 x240.  On behalf of the children we serve, thanks for your support. Click for invitation.
Submitted by Ana Pagan
Kristi House


Executive Director Trudy Novicki co-presented with Dr. Jon Shaw of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine at the annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment in January on findings of a pilot study examining and comparing the mental health of child victims of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. The study provides insight on clinical interventions that might be effective for addressing the complex trauma typical of commercially sexually exploited children.
Blue Carpet Event
400 guests came out to support Kristi House at The Bath Club on Miami Beach
More than 400 guests celebrated Kristi House's 2nd Annual Blue Carpet Event at the fabulous Bath Club on Miami Beach to support Kristi House's continued efforts to help victims of child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking. From the moment guests arrived and stepped onto the blue carpet, they experienced a first-class Miami night of great food, music and spirits, for a great cause. 
8th Annual Breaking the Silence Luncheon 
Kristi, for whom Kristi House was named, talked about her journey to find healing after bearing her first child at age 10. 
She provided the impetus for the volunteers to start Kristi House in 1995. 
Kristi House will hold its 8th Annual Breaking the Silence Luncheon on April 25 to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and support for services. 500 guests are expected who will hear compelling testimonies and messages of hope from survivors who credit Kristi House for leading them on their path to healing.
Submitted by Natalie Brown
Marion County CAC
Kimberly's Center

New Developments
Kimberly's Center for Child Protection made local news headlines in March with several exciting new developments.  Among the new developments was the board certification of Dr. Howard L. Rogers in the sub-specialty of Child Abuse Pediatrics.  Dr. Rodgers is the medical director for Kimberly's Center and  Marion County CPT.  medical director. Read the full press release here.
Left to right: Board Member, Rebecca Rogers; Dr. Howard Rogers and his wife Cheryl; and Executive Director Dawn Westgate.

Wishing Well Winners
Wingard Creative has selected six nonprofit organizations to benefit from its first round of  "The Wishing Well," a pro-bono program that will award $50,000 in creative services to nonprofit organizations this year. The winning organizations are City Rescue Mission, First Coast No More Homeless Pets, Kimberly's Center for Child Protection - The Marion County Children's Advocacy Center, OneJax, The Seaside Playgarden, and St. Johns Riverkeeper. 
The recipients will receive awards of various sizes, based on the scope of need stated in their applications. The cumulative total of all awards for the first round is $32,750. Read the full press release here.
Submitted by Jennifer Harmon
Suncoast Center, Inc.
St. Petersburg


Join the Race to Stop Child Abuse in Pinellas County.  The St. Petersburg Exchange Club is proud to sponsor the 7th Annual Blue Ribbon 5K Run and One Mile Family Walk for child abuse prevention, benefiting Suncoast Center on Saturday, April 12th!  The event is being held at Walsingham Park, Largo, Florida from 7:30AM to 2:00PM.


We need your help! You can support this worthy cause by creating your own personal fundraising page ... as a runner ... or a walker...or someone personally interested in making difference ... you can lead the run by sharing with your friends your commitment to ending child abuse.


Proceeds raised from this event are used to support the Parent Aide Program at Suncoast Center.  This nationally recognized program utilizes volunteers who become engaged in a mentoring relationship with a younger parent.  The goals of the program are to strengthen families and provide improved stability for children so they can be successful.  

Click here for the flyer

Submitted by Fiona Rodgers
Upcoming CAC Events




8:00 am- CAC of SWFL Office




1stBows Up Against Child Abuse 

 Milton, Santa Rosa County


2nd- Bonus CSEC Training Session: Child

 Trafficking 9:00-11:00 am at Children's Board of Hillsborough County, Tampa


3rd- Child Abuse Prevention Press Conference 10:00 am- Kids House of Seminole


4th- Chi Chi Miguel Throwdown:  8am, 

Destin- Emerald Coast CAC


Wear Blue for Kids Day & Blue Ribbon Breakfast 8-10am: Sarasota CPC


5th-Blue Saturday: Sarasota Farmer's Market:

Central Florida's Next Big Star:6-10 pm, 

Rosen Centre Hotel, Orlando- CAC for Osceola County


Race Against Child Abuse: 8:00 am, Marion Technical Institute, Ocala- Marion County CAC


6th- Lauren's Walk in Ocala with Marion 

County CAC at Kimberly's Center for Child Protection, 1:00 pm


8th- Gainesville Wing Bowl: 6:30pm at Splitz 

Bowling Center, Gainesville- CAC, Inc.


Children's Day at the Capitol: 8am, Capitol Courtyard, Tallahassee- FNCAC


9th-Blue Ties & Butterflies: 

CPC Signature Event- 6pm, Sarasota


CSEC Training Session 19:00-11:00 am at Children's Board of Hillsborough County, Tampa


10th- Lauren's Walk in Gainesville


11th-Ocean Blues Goes Blue to End

 Child Abuse: 6pm, Sarasota- CPC


12th- 7th Annual Blue Ribbon 5K Run & Family

Walk: 7:30am-2:00pm Walsingham Park, Largo- Suncoast Center, Inc.


Deputy Skip York Memorial Non-Traditional Poker Run & Emerald Coast Motor Cycle Challenge: Emerald Coast CAC, Niceville 


13th- Gainesville Duck Derby: 1-4pm

Gainesville- CAC, Inc. & CHS


15th- BLUE Martini Night @ Geckos: 5-8pm

Sarasota CPC


Learn to Prevent & Recognize Child Sexual Abuse: 5:30-7:30pm, Pensacola- Gulf Coast Kids House


16th-CSEC Training Session 2: 9:00-11:00 am

at Children's Board of Hillsborough County, Tampa.


19th- Lauren's Walk with Gulf Coast CAC, 1pm


21st- Mary Lee's House Tour:

1:30-2:30pm, Tampa


23rd- CSEC Training Session 39:00-11:00 am

at Children's Board of Hillsborough County, Tampa


25th- Breaking the Silence Luncheon: Noon,

Jungle Island-Treetop Ballroom, Miami- Kristi House


Get Out Your Blues Day- Kids House of Seminole


26th-7th Annual Field of Dreams Gala: 

6:00-11:00 pm The Venue at CFE Arena, Orlando- Kids House of Seminole


Golf Classic: 1pm, CC of Naples- CAC of Collier County. 



2nd-7th Annual Charity Golf Tournament: 

The Club at Hidden Creek, Navarre- Santa Rosa Kids' House

19th- Mary Lee's House Tour: 1:30-2:30pm,

20th-Learn to Prevent & Recognize 

Child Sexual Abuse: 9-11am, Pensacola- 

Gulf Coast Kids House.


26th- Subway Night benefiting CAC, Inc.

at participating Subway restaurants, Gainesville.



5-9pm, Hilton University of Florida Conference Center,  Gainesville- CAC, Inc.
16th- Mary Lee's House Tour: 1:30-2:30pm,
Sexual Abuse: 2-4pm, Pensacola- 
Gulf Coast Kids House
Get Recognized!


You've got exciting news, and we want to share it!
Florida CAC's do great work year-round-get recognized in our next newsletter slated for 
June 2014.
Send submissions to with your center's accomplishments, fundraising, recognition, etc. for the months of March, April, May. 


Be sure to include upcoming events!

In This Issue
Conference Updates
CAC, Inc. (Alachua)
CAC for Osceola County
CHS of FL CAC (Polk)
CJC (Hillsborough)
CPC (Sarasota)
Citrus County CAC
Gulf Coast CAC
Gulf Coast Kid's House
Kids House of Seminole
Kristi House (Miami-Dade)
Marion County CAC
Suncoast Center (Pinellas)
Upcoming CAC Events
Get Recognized!
2014 Conference 
at a glance
July 8th: 
Deadline to reserve room at discounted rate ($149/night)
July 18th: 
Deadline to mail registrations
July 24th: 
Deadline to register online or by fax
July 29th: 
July 30th- August 1st at
Disney's Yacht Club Resort
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Florida Network of Children's Advocacy
2940 East Park Avenue, Ste A
Tallahassee, Florida 32301