By Greg Ritchie
EAST TEXAS — The Crockett Civic Center was decked out in style on Saturday, Sept. 10 as the “Boots and Bling” gala dinner and fundraiser began.
The Kalin Center was launched in 2001 and was established as a safe environment for abused children to tell their stories. The center serves Houston and Trinity counties in conjunction with local law enforcement and child protective services. The Center is located at 201 Renaissance Way in Crockett. The Center is non-profit and depends on donations and fundraisers like the “Boots and Bling” event.
Boots and bling were in abundance as diners made their way to the auction items. Attendees were greeted with a cake auction for desserts to tempt their sweet tooth.
From canapes and wine to a first-class steak dinner, the crowd was there to honor the victims and the incredible work the Center does in Houston and Trinity counties.
Master of Ceremonies Ansel Bradshaw was on hand to conduct the bidding and introduce guests of honor and speakers.
Trinity County District Attorney Bennie Schiro told the story of a victim of abuse. A moving tribute with a happy ending – but a heartbreaking story to hear. He showed a letter he received from the mother of the young girl he keeps at his desk in his office.
Tickets to win one of the many prizes at the dessert auction, attendees came with open hearts and wallets and ready to help.
A wine cake brought in by Houston County Judge Jim Lovell has been auctioned off for a jaw-dropping $2,000.
A table in the center of the room remained empty. A small teddy bear adorned each seat. It was the first time the Center had dedicated an empty table to survivors. Each bear was auctioned off as a tribute to the victims and to help the Kalin’s Center in its work.
The overall total raised was nearly $56,000.
Greg Ritchie can be contacted at [email protected]