WINNSBORO, TX – In April 2023 the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center (NETCAC) will commemorate 25 years of service to nearly 11,000 children in northeast Texas who have been victims of child abuse. In conjunction with national Child Abuse Awareness Month in April, NETCAC will host a series of public events, co-hosted with community partner agencies, organizations, and elected officials to honor victims and celebrate their recovery and healing.
The first event will include a 25th Anniversary Open House and Celebration at the Winnsboro office with a dedication ceremony for the founding Board members and volunteers, facility tours, and light refreshments on Thursday, April 6, 2023, from 2:00 – 5:00 PM.
“The vision of our founding supporters made it possible to provide hope and healing for thousands of victims of child abuse,” Executive Director Lauren Zastany said. “We welcome the community to join us to celebrate the many lives on which we have all made an impact and to honor those who made the dream of providing a place of healing a reality.”
Notable founding supporters in attendance include former Wood County District Attorney Mark Taylor, and Georgia Moore, a volunteer who initially had the NETCAC phone line installed in her house to accept incoming calls for the first intakes at her dining room table. Moore also recently celebrated her 90th birthday asking for donations to the Center rather than gifts, raising thousands of dollars for the Center.
“A lot of people have played important roles in the founding and growth of the Child Advocacy Center,” Board President Pamela Buttrick said. “It takes a community, and that’s what we have. We’re excited to honor these people, and eager to show our Center to the community and what their contributions have done for thousands of children.”
The public is invited to attend all of the following events in April to show their support and learn how to get involved.
Thursday, April 6, 2023
2:00 – 5:00 PM
*Dedication ceremony to be held at 2:15 PM
5920 N State Hwy 37
Winnsboro, TX 75494
Upshur County “Light of Hope” Celebration Event
Thursday, April 20, 2023
5:30 – 7:00 PM
Upshur County Courthouse, 100 W Tyler St, Gilmer, TX
Wood County “Wrapping Children in Love” Candlelight Vigil
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Jim Hogg State Park, Quitman, TX
“While the topic of child abuse is not something most people like to talk about, we know our work here for the past 25 years has turned victims into survivors, and that’s what gives us the strength to keep doing what we do,” Zastany said. “That, and the members of the community who give their time, talent, and treasure to these kids. It’s inspiring.”
Additional Child Abuse Awareness month activities include opportunities for faith-based organizations, churches, schools, day cares, and community partners to participate and show their support and commitment to ending child abuse in Northeast Texas are below. NETCAC welcomes any and all supporters to join one or more of these events and post on social media with the hashtag #NETCACgoblue23.
- Blue Ribbon Week (March 26 – 31 or any week in April)
- NETCAC 25th Anniversary Open House
- Upshur County “Light of Hope” Celebration
- Blue Sunday (for Churches and faith-based organizations)
- Wood County Candlelight Vigil
“We’d love to have all of the people in our community join us to see what their support has done for children in Northeast Texas over the past 25 years,” Buttrick said. “We are well on our way to accomplishing our mission of ending child abuse in east Texas, and we couldn’t do it without the support of our community.”
The mission of the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center to bring hope and healing to survivors while working together to break the cycle of child abuse.
NETCAC opened its doors in Winnsboro, Texas, in 1998 and is the only place for children ages 2-17 who have been victims of sexual abuse and physical abuse, or who have witnessed a violent crime or drug use in their home, to tell their experience to professionally- trained interviewers and advocates in a way that reduces trauma and begins the healing process.
NETCAC provides a safe, child-friendly environment where law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, medical, and mental health professionals can share information and develop effective, coordinated strategies to meet the needs of each unique case and child. It is our goal to reduce trauma to child abuse victims and their families by offering evidence-based, trauma-informed services.
NETCAC serves an eight-county area of northeast Texas including Camp, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Titus, Upshur and Wood counties. For more information, visit http://www.netcac.org.