In late January, guests at McLaren’s Club 401 charity gala gathered for a sizzlin’ soirée, although their cause was as chilling as the bitter weather. “The gala is the sole source of funding for the operation of the Child Evaluation Clinic,” reports Laurie Prochazka, Director of Marketing at McLaren, “including funding for the physicians, nurses and social workers who provide services, all equipment needs, specialized training for staff, and all other clinic expenses.”
The clinic, which Prochazka says is “the only one of its kind in the county,” provides medical and psychosocial evaluations of children who are suspected victims of sexual abuse. “The physical evidence gained through the medical examinations of victims is critical to prosecuting perpetrators of these crimes,” says Laurie, adding that the clinic also connects families with resources to help them get through the horror of this abuse.
There is no charge to children and families utilizing CEC services, so the proceeds raised from the gala assure that anyone who needs these services can access them, regardless of their ability to pay. “This year’s event was one of the most successful in recent years!” Laurie reported, thanking those who joined Club 401 to aid the hurting children coming to the clinic: “We raised more than $120,000 and received support from many new sectors of the community, as well as from our longtime donors. Thank you to all who supported this event and helped to make a positive difference in the lives of these children.”
PHOTOS BY JENN HAWK