Gilmore, Collins earn Dragonfly House awards

Published 8:32 am Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is like a Band Aid.

It can’t cure the injury, but it provides the first step in the healing process.

More than 270 people helped provide healing for abused and neglected children by attending The Dragonfly House’s 6th Annual Share the Love fundraiser Feb. 12 at WinMock in Kinderton, presented by Smith Excavating and the Mebane Foundation.

The community raised more than $40,000 to aid the center in its mission of reducing the long-term effects that child abuse has on children, their families, and society through immediate, coordinated, child-focused services, education, and advocacy.

Upon arrival, the flappers and gangsters attending the 1920s-styled event browsed and bid on the nearly 80 donated silent auction items, had their pictures taken in the “speakeasy’s” photo booth, and mingled with guests. Afterwards, they enjoyed music dinner, cupcakes, awards, a keynote speaker, and a live auction.

Emcee was Mocksville Police Det. Lt. Patrick Reagan.

“This is the 6th Share the Love Event our agency has hosted and it is by far the most fun event we have ever had,” said Brandi Reagan, executive director of The Dragonfly House. “To see so many supporters come out dressed in their best 1920s-style outfits and take part in our evening’s activities was truly heart-warming.

“Our community and these guests are our rock. They help us carry out our mission and allow us to do the work that we do. Without every sponsor, donor, and guest, our agency would not be able to operate. They will never fully know how much of a direct hand they have in making a difference in the lives of the children we serve.

“Now that the event has past, I hope we gave them a fun evening that they will never forget, but I also hope we opened their eyes and educated them about the work we do and the type of abuse that is happening every day all around them,” she said.

After dinner, Reagan presented two awards.

Jim Gilmore was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for his dedication and commitment to helping The Dragonfly House achieve its mission. Gilmore became a volunteer in October, 2014, and has donated his time nearly every week. He assists the executive director and the child advocate with paperwork, data entry, and filing.

“Jim is a volunteer that we have come to depend on in getting our own jobs done,” said Reagan. “Without his assistance, we would be constantly behind on paperwork. What is great about him, is that he is not only a volunteer, but also someone we talk to, admire, and he has taken on a fatherly role with our staff. It is really nice having him around and having his help.”

The Multi-Disciplinary Team Member of the Year was presented to Andreia Collins, a social worker with Davie County Schools.

“Andreia has been a team member since we opened in October, 2010. She has attended monthly case reviews during the past five years and contributed greatly to the cause of ensuring that children do not fall through the cracks or get forgotten once their services are complete with our office,” said Reagan.

“She has also volunteered her own time with us over the past 6 years and has been able to get her church, Ijames Baptist Church, to volunteer through their men’s groups, women’s group, and youth group on various services like trimming our shrubbery, cooking meals for support group parents, and cleaning our facility. She is a valuable member of the community and a valuable member of our team.”

The multi-disciplinary team is the foundation of the CAC model. It is made up of representatives from Davie and Davidson counties and includes members from law enforcement, child protective services and the district attorney’s office, as well as victim witness advocates, mental health therapists, and medical professionals.

“These professionals work together from the first report until the case is closed to ensure the most effective, coordinated response possible for every child.” Reagan said.

Guest speaker was Molly-Catherine Goodson, M.A. J.D., a writer who is passionate about child advocacy and bringing professionals together to use a multifaceted approach to address child abuse and other issues affecting children and teenagers in today’s society.

The Liberty Legal Journal and the American Association of Christian Counselors have featured Goodson’s research on child abuse and teen sexting.

“Her heart for children and teenagers of the local community drives her to equip and empower others to address the most sensitive societal topics,” Reagan said.