Fundraiser Nears $32,000 for Advocates for Children

From the moment the event began at 3:00 PM this past Saturday, the Fair Oaks Mall was packed with participants for this year's Night of a Thousand Jacks, a Halloween event benefiting Advocates for Children.  While numbers are still being tabulated, event coordinators estimate that this was easily the highest attendance the event has ever received.

Games.jpg"We planned for 4,000 to be in attendance," said Angie Bowling, Chair of the event.  "By 5:00 PM we were already sending out for more candy and prizes for our kids' games because we knew we were going to run out.  That's the kind of problem you're thrilled to have to solve."

When all was said and done, nearly $32,000 had been raised to benefit the local charity's work on behalf of local victims of child abuse and neglect.  That tops the event's previous record, from 2014, by over $7,000.

"Night of a Thousand Jacks is now in its ninth year," said Rick Scalf, Community Outreach Coordinator for Advocates for Children, "and we're proud to say that this was the event's biggest year yet, both in terms of the number of people coming out, and the dollars raised for our agency.  It speaks to the commitment of our partners, both to the event itself and to the children we serve."

By the third quarter of this year, Advocates for Children had already served 850 abused and neglected children, another record.

"We've seen a 37% increase over the number of children served in the same period last year," said Therese Miller, the agency's Executive Director, "Despite this increase, another 305 children remain on our waiting list, and there's no indication that the need for our services is going to decline anytime soon.  Every child deserves a safe, permanent and loving home.  These children especially, who find themselves thrust into the court system through no fault of their own, deserve a stable adult influence standing by their side to help them find their way to that forever family."

Cats.jpgSkyrocketing addictions cases throughout the state have been driving up the number of children entering into the child protection system.

"These kids are the silent victims of the opioid epidemic," said Scalf.  "We can't forget that when someone suffers from an addiction, their entire family is impacted.  That's why Advocates for Children is committed to providing an advocate for every child in our community who needs one.  Events like Night of a Thousand Jacks help us to raise the funds necessary to provide that support as well as raise the community's awareness of the needs of these children.  We're extremely grateful to everyone who helped make this year's event a success, especially to our partners at Family Chiropractic and Wellness, who sponsored this year's event, and Ada Golunska, who led the addition our new Dash-O-Lantern 5K race and brought over a hundred new participants into the event."

 Event Winners

Pumpkin Patch
"Year's Best Patch" (most raised overall)
Winner:  Adult & Child Health
Vote Total: 713
Prize: $500, provided by Hilliard Lyons 
"Best Non-Profit Patch" (most raised among non-profit entries)
Winner:  Adult & Child Health
Vote Total: 713
Prize: $500 contribution to charity of winner's choice, provided by Heritage Fund, the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County 
Costume Contest 
Ages 0-5
Judges' Overall Favorite: Emma Jones - "Violet"
Favorite Hero: Emersyn Smith - "Police Woman"
Favorite Fairy Tale Character: Ovienna Flynn - "Old Lady"
Cleverest Costume: Rithiksha Sivakumar - "Firefighter & Truck"
Favorite Villain: Westin Waller - "Bobby Knight"

Ages 6-10
Judges' Overall Favorite: Hunter Straugh - "Outhouse"
Favorite Hero: Arthur Kays - "Astronaut"
Favorite Fairy Tale Character: Jaylin Barnes - "Harry Potter"
Cleverest Costume: Asher Stidam - "Skydancer"
Favorite Villain: Jack Charlton - "Dapper Death" 
Ages 11-15
Judges' Overall Favorite: Nadia Harris - "Punk Rock Zombie"
Favorite Hero: McKenna Johannesen - "KC Royals Pitcher"
Favorite Fairy Tale Character: Kieradyn Wright - "Merida"
Cleverest Costume: Ellie Combs - "Darla from Finding Nemo"
Favorite Villain: Chloe Griese - "Day of the Dead Skeleton"   

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