With the financial strain of housing local youth on the rise, The Children’s Center of Surry is hoping for a large turnout at its upcoming event.
“Both our homes are full and we have turned away 20 kids since January 1 due to being at capacity,” wrote center director Robin Testerman. “The need and cost exceed our past efforts, and we are hoping the Heart of a Child will be a success to help support our children and families in the community.”
The center, which operates two residential units, houses up to 15 children in Surry and Yadkin counties, and an annual Heart of a Child fundraiser is one of two large fundraisers for the center, noted Testerman.
The event is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday at Cross Creek Country Club in Mount Airy. It includes a dinner and silent and live auctions. The Embers featuring Craig Woolard will provide entertainment throughout the course of the five-hour event.
Live auction items will include a private performance by the night’s entertainment and a Yeti soft cooler and tumblers. Testerman highlighted a beach house rental, an Apple watch, Adirondack chairs and an Invicta Watch as items included in the evening’s silent auction.
Dr. Terri Mosley, vice chair of the children’s center board, said the annual operating budget for the center is about $1.5 million. While funding from the government accounts for much of the budget, the 10 or 11 percent garnered through fundraising is important to provide the sort of life the center wants to provide to the children it houses.
“It’s very difficult to provide the extras like clothing, haircuts, fees for school field trips and participation fees for activities,” explained Mosley. “Our goal is to provide an experience which is as close to a normal home setting as possible.”
“For us it’s a house, but to the children we house it really is a home,” added Mosley.
She noted the center is “very blessed with the support of the community.”
Mosley also said the center is in the process of developing a long range plan, which should include a hope to house more children in the future, noting it’s not abnormal to see a rise in the need for the center’s services after the winter holidays conclude.
Though an annual golf tournament is the largest fundraiser for the center, the 2016 Heart of a Child event raised more than $25,000 in 2016, according to Testerman.
There are also opportunities to sponsor the event, and Mosley said four entities stepped up to the plate. A.E.S. Inc., the Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, Dr. Dave and Nancy Dixon and Prism Medical Products, LLC each donated $2,500 to become event sponsors.
Tickets to the event are $80 per person or $120 per couple and can be purchased at the center. Those who are interested may call the center at 386-9144 or email Testerman at [email protected]
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.