Child Advocacy Center fundraiser

Pictured above, from left to right, are Christine Ralph, Rotary member; Debby Conner, Rotary President; Laura Travis, speaker; Brandi Lytle, volunteer; and Melanie Garrison, volunteer.

The volunteers are part of group raising funds to furnish the Child Advocacy Center.

Laura Travis, who is heading a group of 20 volunteers raising funds for the new Child Advocacy Center, spoke to the Dayton Rotary Club on Friday, outlining plans for the center and announcing a fundraiser to help furnish the facility.

The purpose of the fundraiser is to update the location by providing aesthetic and functional improvements to create a safe, welcoming and happy environment for the children and their families and guardians.

Such advocacy centers are instrumental to law enforcement when investigating cases of abuse involving a minor. After the legal system is notified and involved in an abuse case, the child is taken to a child advocacy center for their assessment, forensic interviews and medical examinations to determine the actual extent of abuse and gather legal documentation for law enforcement professionals.

“We are called to help the least of these,” Travis said. “We are called to use our talents for the glory of God. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t help.”

The volunteers soon began the fundraiser, which will provide furnishings for things such as a play area, which children can utilize while at the center.

Rhea County Sheriff Mike Neal, investigators with the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department and the local district attorney’s office have been exploring the possibility of establishing a child advocacy center in Rhea County for several years.

The fundraising drive to furnish the new child advocacy center is still underway.

Donations can be made by mailing a check to Laura Travis-CAC, 1318 Armstrong Ferry Road, Dayton, TN, 37321, or checks can be dropped off at the Mike Dyer Insurance Agency, 1158 Market St., Dayton, TN, 37321.