Greater Tulsa Reporter
UPCOMING FUNDRAISER: The Child Abuse Network will hold its fifth annual CANdlelight Ball on April 21 at the Mayo Hotel, 115 W. 5th St. Max and Marian Vowel, front left, will serve as the event’s honorary chairs. Also pictured are Hillcrest HealthCare System CEO Kevin Gross, top left, for Presenting Sponsor Hillcrest; Howard Barnett, for Presenting Sponsor the Barnett Family Foundation; event co-chairs Ashley Hudgeons, center, and Cari Marshall; and Chef Justin Thompson, right, who will serve as event emcee.
Courtesy Tom Gilbert
On April 21, the Child Abuse Network will hold its fifth annual CANdlelight Ball, the nonprofit’s primary fundraising event, an event that proves more necessary each year as the demand for CAN’s services continues to grow, notes event co-chair and board president-elect Cari Marshall.
Over the past five years, CAN, located at 2829 S. Sheridan Rd., has seen a 14-percent increase in total number of children served, currently serving approximately 2,500 children annually.
“Our facility was created to serve about 40 children per month, and now we are serving 50 per week,” Marshall says.
“Our greatest limitation is space.”
Yet, while many local organizations serve children, CAN’s focus is unique, she continues.
CAN endeavors to reduce the re-traumatization of child abuse victims by offering one location with all multidisciplinary groups on site. Therefore, the child is able to report his/her abuse one time and one time only, says Marshall.
The on-site groups include Tulsa City and County law enforcement officers and those from surrounding areas, the Tulsa County District Attorney’s office, medical pediatricians from the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa’s School of Community Medicine, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services child welfare investigators, and Child Abuse Network staff.
“It’s a seamless communication between the teams in order to minimize added trauma and prevent future child abuse. This service is not duplicated anywhere in the community,” Marshall says.
Once a child abuse report is made to either DHS or the authorities and verified, CAN is the next stop, says CAN Community Relations Consultant Brandi Moore. Services for the child are then coordinated through the Children’s Advocacy Center. A child can receive a forensic interview, a medical examination and/or a mental health consultation to connect them to the therapeutic services within the community.
CAN provides a connection with other local agencies, such as Family and Children’s Services and the Parent Child Center of Tulsa, in order to aid victims and their families going forward.
“If we don’t do the right thing for these children, the cycle will repeat,” says Marshall, who developed a heart for children growing up in a family that fostered children.
Marshall’s youngest sister was originally fostered by her family.
Being around foster children helped me to see that “these kids are dealing with many things, dealing with trauma and displacement, and they need help,” Marshall says.
Marshall became involved with CAN four years ago, drawn by the overall mission.
“Instilling hope, that’s the mission of CAN,” she says.
The CANdlelight Ball is a black-tie event at the Mayo Hotel, 115 W. 5th St., featuring dinner and dancing.
CAN is proud to announce Max and Marian Vowel as the Honorary Chairs for this years’ CANdlelight Ball and Ashley Hudgeons as event co-chair with Marshall.
For additional info on CANdlelight Ball tickets, sponsorship opportunities or donation opportunities, call 918-624-0217 or email email@example.com.