The 17th annual Weakley/Obion County Carl Perkins Center Dinner and Auction for Child Abuse will be held March 12 at the Martin Public Library. Tickets are no longer available for one of the Center’s largest annual fundraisers. However, donations of auction items will be accepted for the event through the end of the month. Team members are ready to accept donated items. Call 731-587-0768 for drop-off information.
This is the first live event for the auction since 2019, due to COVID-related restrictions. Last year, a virtual auction was held, with the Perkins Center finding that a broader community outreach can be performed by holding virtual events – out-of-state donations came in last year, as an example of the virtual outreach. With this in mind, there will still be a virtual auction held, as well as the live, silent auction, happening at the Martin Public Library. “It’s a celebration, we’re returning to normal,” Carl Perkins Director Amber Whitten said.
The Carl Perkins Center is a child advocacy program that offers a diverse set of tools to help disaffected children in the region. “I want it to be known we’re a child advocacy center,” Ms. Whitten stressed, “we’re sometimes mislabeled as a child abuse center.” These tools include safe spaces for children and a food pantry, as well as other various inclusive programs designed to help both children and guardians.
These programs that assist community members throughout the year also include a Relative Caregiver Program, which provides direct assistance to those family members who are trusted with the care of a child who is a victim of abuse or neglect. The Center provides a Forensic Interview area to offer a safe space for children who are being interviewed as part of an investigation into allegations of abuse and/or neglect. The Center also offers a Forever Parenting class for families going through a divorce or separation.
With a team of therapists and social workers on staff who provide in-house therapy, as well as home visits, the services of the CPC continue to be necessary resources for families in Weakley and Obion counties.
“As somber as our work is, I want this event to be known as a celebration, we want there to be joy,” Whitten said.
Five to ten auction items will be available for bid, including one Kids College scholarship donated by UT Martin at the live auction. An additional two Kids College scholarships will be donated online for their virtual event.
For details and announcements, visit the Center’s Facebook page.