The evening features dinner, entertainment and an auction. Lisa and Attorney General Sam Olens and Charissa and Vice President of BB&T Brannon Fitch co-chair the event. Ted Hall and 11Alive News will be recognized as the Hearing Children’s Voices Award recipient for their contributions to making sure that the voices of children are heard.
The theme of the gala is funky footwear and formal. Guests are encouraged to be creative when choosing shoes that evening to walk the “safe path.”
SafePath is “a thought turned into action,” according to SafePath’s Executive Director Jinger Robins. The original nonprofit was formed by a group of Cobb citizens in 1983 to find a better way of helping children through the system when surrounded by allegations of abuse. In 1995, that action turned a dream into a reality with the formation of SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center.
“We are the only children’s advocacy center in Cobb County serving children ages birth through 17,” Robins said. “Our mission is to reduce the trauma to children and their families by offering a comprehensive, professional and child-friendly approach to allegations of child abuse.”
“We have a board of directors that is committed to helping us meet that mission and we work collaboratively with both private and public professionals to ensure we do all we can to provide the necessary services, free of charge, to children and their families as they go through the process of intervention, investigation, prosecution and treatment. Immediate intervention, medical services, prosecution and therapy are vital to recovery,” Robins explained.
East Cobb resident Lisa Olens said, “SafePath supports and gives a voice to the most vulnerable and helpless in our community: our children. Child abuse has no social, economic, gender or race barrier or boundary.
“It can impact and touch any family in the most personal and devastating of ways,” Lisa Olens said. Sam Olens served on their board before he was a County Commissioner.
SafePath depends upon the community in order to meet the demands of Cobb County in serving children. Hearing Children’s Voices is one of two special events where individuals, corporations and private community partners can support the organization.
“SafePath is based here in Cobb County, and it directly supports the members of our community as well as also reaching beyond the borders of Cobb to advocate for children nationwide. SafePath acts as a voice and advocate for children who, due to circumstance, are in desperate need of advocacy,” said Brannon Fitch, who met Robins with his wife after attending the 2013 gala. Being parents of a 16-month-old child and another on the way, they felt compelled to help children in the community.
The gala is also a means to raises awareness.
“No one likes to think about the abuse of children, but unfortunately it is a reality in our world. Events like Hearing Children’s Voices reminds everyone of the importance of organizations like SafePath,” Fitch said.
“It is our responsibility as a community to do all that we can to provide SafePath with the resources it needs to continue to operate and advocate for our children,” Fitch said.
To purchase tickets to the gala, visit www.safepath.org/events/hearingchildrensvoices.
The Cobb Galleria Centre is at 2 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta.
SafePath is located at 736 Whitlock Ave., Suite 600, Marietta (in the West Park Government Center). To learn more, visit safepath.org or call (770) 801-3465.