Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara celebrates ten years of helping children

Kristen French CAC Niagara press release – In the 10 years that the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara has had its doors open, 3,000 children and youth and family members have had a safe place to disclose their abuse to our partners from Niagara Regional Police Service, Family and Child Services Niagara and the Family Counselling Centre.

Disclosing abuse can be seen as a taboo topic when it really shouldn’t be. The CAC model is designed to make the interview process as comfortable and nonintrusive as possible and for this we celebrate the work that goes on at the Kristen French CACN.

The Child Advocacy Centre model minimizes the number of times children and youth must describe their abuse experience. Each interview is recorded and goes forward into the justice system for use by investigators, prosecutors and the court system. By reducing the number of times children must go through questioning, children, youth and their families can begin the healing process to move them forward from the abuse experience.

The Centre is taking the opportunity to celebrate this 10 year milestone at our third annual Spotlight Gala.

The event takes place Thursday Oct. 18/2018 at Club Roma in St. Catharines.

The evening will feature a video produced by the Niagara Regional Police Service Ontario Police Video Training Alliance that explores the past, present and future of the Centre. Local comedian Joe Pillitteri will be the Master of Ceremonies.

“We are blessed again this year to have Joe PIllitteri as our MC… Joe is a stand-up comedian, inspirational speaker and motivational leader that models what it means to give back to your community. He has raised more than $500,000 through sold out comedy fundraisers and along with his followers has been a fundraising champion for the children and families served by the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre”, says Lynn Jerchel Chair of the Gala committee.

Our Executive Director Janet Handy will be speaking to provide awareness and guidance as the Centre looks to the future.

Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara works within the network of child advocacy centres across Canada to see that CACs become embedded as part of the justice system in Canada. We want to ensure every child has access to a CAC in their community. A lifelong career commitment to victims of child abuse led her to write her recently published book, The Secret Tribe: a memoir of resilience in which she explores the place of resilience in healing from trauma.

“CACs are crucial to bringing together professionals and collaborations with other agencies to provide a comprehensive response to the trauma associated with disclosing abuse. Kristen French CACN allows investigators and service providers to work together, providing a safe environment for children to receive wrap around support. This support furthers the healing process through trauma informed counselling and creative arts programs intended to enhance victim’s resilience.” says Handy.

Penner building centre is returning as the title sponsor. Marcia Penner, owner and childhood friend of Kristen is pleased to support the Centre in a wonderful night of food, laughter and awareness.

Through the evening guests may participate in a silent auction while those seeking more thrilling big-ticket items will be able to participate in a live auction.

The Centre is also creating a Spotlight Tree which promises to “shed a light” on child abuse. As the Centre currently has no sustainable government funding, all proceeds of the event will go towards the Centre’s Children First investigation hosting program, allowing our partners to provide excellent care for Niagara’s most vulnerable citizens.

The Reception begins at 6:00 p.m., guests are encouraged to peruse the Silent Auction items and 50/50 tickets will be available for purchase throughout the night. Guests should expect to settle in the Starlight ballroom at 7:00 p.m. for dinner, speaker’s message and entertainment.

Live and silent auction items include:

A West Jet gift of flight for two to any West Jet location, Samsung Galaxy Tablets, autographed sports memorabilia, various food and drink gift cards, wine and brewery tours and much more!

Note: Sponsorship and Silent Auction opportunities are still available. For more information please contact to find out how you can get involved.

Tickets are available online at: by phone at 905 937-5435 Ext. 7000 or in person at the Kristen French CACN located at 8 Forster Street in St. Catharines. Seating is limited so be sure to purchase in advance of the event. Tickets are $ 100/ per person or $725 per table of 8.  Charitable receipts will be provided for portion of ticket sales.



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