For years, the Bellflower Center for Prevention of Child Abuse held a fundraiser known as “Sweet Dreams.” Last year, the organization merged with the Domestic Violence Center to more effectively provide services for child abuse, dating and domestic violence and elder abuse. Though the name has changed to the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, the fundraiser remains “Sweet Dreams.” This year’s event, held at the Intercontinental Hotel, retained the elements that have made it successful in the past.
More than 200 guests attended the black-tie-optional affair, to raise funds for the organization’s hotlines, shelters and other programs. One of the organization’s goals is to help every child have a peaceful night, and that was the inspiration for the name of the fundraiser. Despite the serious mission, the night was festive and first-rate. During a social hour, guests were able to have their photo taken and delivered. They also bid on silent auction items. Honorary chairwoman Maria Coyne with event chairwomen Jessica Cuffia-Corlette and Susan Silverberg represented the banking and investment communities. They attracted a significant amount of local corporate support, which helped make the evening a success. The silent-auction items arranged in the hotel’s pre-function area attracted high bids early. With no bargains to be found, the auction was a success, too.
Guests moving to the ballroom marveled at creative table centerpieces. Formed of beads, brushes and art supplies, these centerpieces would be taken apart and used by children served by the organization. After dinner, a short program honored the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Reinberger Foundation for their support of the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center. Bob Hale presided over a live auction and the popular “fund-a-need,” in which guests held up their bidding paddles to make a pure donation to the organization. The non-item auction raised funds for creating a new personal safety skills program for children. It would work with parents and teachers to help preschoolers through second-graders recognize unsafe situations and people and then report their experiences to adults.
By the time the evening was over, Sweet Dreams raised over $100,000. It was a strong continuation of a successful annual benefit.
Photos by Art Thomas