By ASHLEY INGE
ERATH COUNTY (July 30, 2018) – The Paluxy River Children’s Advocacy Center (PRCAC) is hosting their second annual Heroes with Handbags event on Thursday, Aug. 9 at Twisted J from 6-10 p.m.
Heroes with Handbags is a designer purse bingo event. Tickets are $50 and include 20 bingo cards. Seating will be on a first-come, first served basis. Sponsor tables are available. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. for hors-d’oeuvres. Local law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS will model the designer handbags and will also be carrying buckets for people to have the option to donate during that time if they would like. The money raised by this event will go directly to the operation of the center to provide the services for the children.
According to paluxyrivercac.org, their mission is to promote the healing of child abuse victims — one child at a time. The vision of Paluxy River Children’s Advocacy Center is to reduce the trauma to child abuse victims and their non-offending family members and to work toward improving the justice system’s response to child abuse by uniting the efforts of public agencies and enlisting community support.
The advocacy center covers three counties: Hood County, Erath County and Somervell County. Assistant chief of police, Jason Halsey, explains more about what the PRCAC does.
“The main focus and the goal is kind’ve a two-problem approach,” Halsey said. “They provide forensic interviewing for children that have been abused (and) that helps law enforcement and prosecutors in prosecuting cases. The other side of it is that they have an enormous number of recourses that they can provide in regards to counseling — not just counseling the victim — but the victim’s family members if they are not suspects. I know that the center also once a month meets with law enforcement from each of the counties and they do case reviews and they discuss where they’re at on their cases so that’s kind’ve an overview on what the child advocacy center does.”
Last year the Heroes with Handbags event was successful with the PRCAC raising around $20,000 and selling 182 tickets. Halsey hopes that this year, the Heroes with Handbags event will raise more money than last year.
“I would just like to think that it would be more successful and more people will come out because it is the second time and word of mouth has spread that it was such a good time the last time it was held here,” Halsey said.
Halsey is not only the assistant chief of police in Stephenville, but he also serves on the board of directors for the PRCAC. He said that he gets to see both sides of situations.
“With my role as the assistant chief here, I get to see both sides of it.” Halsey explained. “There’s the prosecution side of it, but I also get to see the very detailed and complex part of what it means to try to help these children put their lives back together again and provide them with hope that nobody is giving up on them. There are people there that can support and help them get through the trauma that impacts them, in many cases, for the rest of their life.”
Halsey hopes that people will have fun at this event and hopes that it will bring awareness to child abuse.
“I hope it brings awareness to them in regards to child abuse and the fact that it is occurring and that there are places that are working to provide — not just prosecution — but also healing from the trauma that it causes, (and) — not just (for the healing for) the victim (themselves) — but also their family members. (I also hope that) they get to see their local first responders kind’ve out of their shell doing something that they don’t normally see in that kind of light,” Halsey said.
To purchase tickets, go to the website: paluxyrivercac.org and click on events. For more information, call 817-573-0292.