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Forsyth County Child Advocacy Center celebrating 15 years

CUMMING — A local nonprofit is celebrating 15 years of serving abused and neglected children in Forsyth County in conjunction with April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Forsyth County Child Advocacy Center began forming in the late 1990s and became a nonprofit in early 2000, according to Tennile Chapman, victims support manager for the organization.

The celebration is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

There will be a live art auction with pieces provided by Sedgwick Gallery. Items will range in value from a “couple hundred to several thousand” dollars, Chapman said.

Power tools, including an 8,000-watt portable generator, will be open for a silent auction.

“In ’97-98, Michelle Edwards [the center’s executive director] was on a citizen panel that was part of the Forsyth County Juvenile Court,” Chapman said. “During that process she realized there needs to be something more, something better to help these children.”

The most important aspect of the center is their forensic interviews. Trained interviewers gather information from a child on areas including childhood development, sexual abuse and other allegations.

Last year, they had 77 referrals for new clients for forensic interviews, serving more than 200 children under all of the organization’s programs. Since inception, they have conducted more than 1,500 forensic interviews.

Tickets to the event are $30 for one person or $55 for two. Admission includes two wine or beer tickets, food from Norman’s Landing restaurant, shrimp from McCrary & Associates Inc. and live music from KiN.