It was a record setting evening raising $500K for the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) at their 22nd annual signature Gala at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa.
The “Bow Ties & Bling” sold-out event brought the community out in their finest attire to enjoy dinner, entertainment by David Seering and Mr. Big and the Rhythm Sisters, along with live and silent auctions, sponsorships, and other fundraisers.
In what became the first matching funds occasion for ECCAC, the Jim Pierce Family, for whom the Pierce Family CAC is named after in Walton County, stepped forward to offer to match the guest Paddle Raise. As it turns out, the Paddle Raise amounted to $100K, then Jim and Tammy Pierce matched that for a total of $200K raised for that alone. An additional $300K was raised via the non-profit’s live and silent auctions and a wine pull.
A highlight of the evening was ECCAC’s impactful keynote speaker, Aimee Shaffer, a domestic abuse survivor, who unfortunately experienced abuse, both in her childhood and as a young adult. She now is extensively involved in the community and emcees many events for non-profits. Shaffer is the pet lover behind Aimee’s Animal Magnetism, a pet sitting service in the Niceville/Ft. Walton Beach area.
ECCAC CEO Julie Porterfield commented, “The Gala is an energetic, yet important ECCAC fundraiser to benefit children by providing services at no cost to help identify, treat and support child victims in abusive situations. We are forever grateful to our supporters for such a successful Gala this year.”
With Centers in Okaloosa and Walton County, in ECCAC’s 21-year history, right at 15,000 children have received more than 150,000 services at no cost to include mental health therapy, crisis intervention, referrals to other community providers, interviews and medicals.
For more information about donating, volunteering, or the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Centers, visit www.eccac.org or call (850) 833-9237, Ext. 283.