CAC supporters take fundraiser to Rio

Children's Advocacy Center supporters get a taste of Brazil at Carnival-themed fundraiser

It’s thumbs up during bidding at the Rio-themed gala.

It’s thumbs up during bidding at the Rio-themed gala.

LEFT: As the sun set over the Gulf, supporters of the Children’s Advocacy Center congregated around silent auction tables during a predinner social.

LEFT: As the sun set over the Gulf, supporters of the Children’s Advocacy Center congregated around silent auction tables during a predinner social.

ABOVE: Dan Summers, board of directors president, supporter Ellen Goetz Children’s Advocacy Center CEO Jackie Stephens get into the spirit of Rio.

ABOVE: Dan Summers, board of directors president, supporter Ellen Goetz Children’s Advocacy Center CEO Jackie Stephens get into the spirit of Rio.

Brazil might be known for its famed Carnival, but Naples played host to a little slice of Rio on Feb. 23 during this year’s Beach Ball, a signature event benefiting Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County.

This year’s event, themed “Meet Us in Rio,” was at Naples Beach Hotel.

Auction lots included a one-week New Hampshire getaway, a deluxe inshore sport fishing trip and a 7-day safari for two to South Africa. One guest also won a weeklong trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Guests enjoyed caipirinhas, Brazil’s national libation of rum, lime and simple syrup, while they bid on auction items during the sunset cocktail hour on the hotel’s Ocean Lawn.

Beach Ball Chairman Michele Thoman and a team of volunteers decorated banquet tables in bright blues, yellows, oranges and greens with centerpieces featuring roses and feather plumes. A decorative mask at each table setting completed the look.

After dinner, Samba dancers dressed in colorful, traditional costumes with sequins, and feathers entertained the crowd and led a conga line through the crowd.

The evening also was a time to recognize individuals, corporations and organizations that provide a substantial impact and help with the nonprofit agency’s mission. Children’s Advocacy Center CEO Jacqueline Stephens and board of directors chairman Dan Summers awarded the Wallace Benevolent Award to Christ Child Society, a group of volunteers who have funded recording and technology upgrades for the agency and provided clothing and bedding donations for children and families served by CAC of Collier County.

Kevin Waldron, a longtime volunteer and board of directors member was honored as Volunteer of the Year.

The Children’s Advocacy Center provides assistance and counseling to children who have been physically or sexually abused, working to minimize the trauma children suffer, and assisting law enforcement and court officials in bringing abusers to justice. For more information, visit www.CACcollier.org

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