The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

February 23, 2012

Blankets & Bears: Spring Bling Dinner and Dance set March 3

PALESTINE — According to frightening statistics, child abuse is rampant — occurring every minute of every day somewhere in the United States.

Sadly, the abuse happens here in Anderson County as well. Since Sept. 1, 2011, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Trinity Valley, which covers Anderson, Henderson and Cherokee counties, has served 98 children in 55 cases in Anderson County.

In an effort to help, Anderson County Blankets and Bears Children’s Fund provides blankets and teddy bears to children during times of loss, injury, grief and or trauma.

The blankets and teddy bears are donated to local agencies, public safety officials, shelters, hospitals, and certain not-for-profit organizations assisting children in their time of need, such as: trauma of sexual abuse or domestic violence; removal from the home by a public agency; disaster; serious illness; testifying in court; or a parent who died in the line of duty.

In order to raise funds for the organization, the third annual “Spring Bling” Dinner and Dance will be held March 3. It features the local band, The Electratones at the Ben E. Keith Community Room, 2019 W. Oak St. in Palestine.

“We are looking forward to an evening that will help us spread the word about Blankets and Bears,” “Spring Bling” Dinner and Dance Event Coordinator Sandra Lane said. “Our mission is to provide comfort and security to children during turbulent times in their lives in the form of cuddly blankets and teddy bears.

“We hope that by providing awareness to our community, it will help change lives of the those who will receive a blanket and bear,” she added. “And, we hope that hearts will be changed in those who learn more about this organization.”

Palestine Regional Medical Center and its chef Ken Owens will provide the menu for the evening: Chicken cordon bleu with dill cream sauce, orange glaze pork medallions, garlic potatoes, steamed vegetables, salad, rolls and carrot cake.

Lee Loveless Photography will offer portrait packages.

Dance instruction and a silent auction will kick off the event at 6 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., cocktails, welcome, recognition of sponsors, volunteers and announcements will be given. Dinner and dancing will start at 7 p.m. with the Electratones providing the entertainment. The silent auction will close at 9:30 p.m.

Tickets to the “Spring Bling” Dinner and Dance are $40 for singles, $75 for couples and tables of eight for $450. Tickets are available at: Texas First Title Company, 601 E. Lacy St. (903-723-5393); Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce, 401 W. Main St.; East Texas National Bank, Trust Department, 207 W. Spring St.; and Ben E. Keith, 2019 W. Oak St. Credit cards are accepted. For more information, e-mail blankets.bears@yahoo.com.

Blankets and Bears Children’s Fund is a sub-fund of the Texas Area Fund Foundation Inc., a tax exempt organization. Monetary contributions can be made directly to the ETNB Trust Department making checks payable to the Blankets & Bears Children’s Fund or by calling Sandra Lane at 903-922-0684. Donations of blankets and bears can be dropped off at any ticket location.

Sponsors for the event include Palestine Regional Medical Center, Pumping Services Inc., Red Hat Rentals, Jacque Johnston Realtor – Sussdorf Real Estate, Walmart Distribution Centers No. 6005 and No. 6036 and Lee Loveless Photography.

One of the future goals of Blankets and Bears is to implement an educational program to assist local agencies to better serve the children in need and educate the community before abuse occurs by providing and funding literature, workshops and helpful resources.

The organization also plans to make the book, “The Swimsuit Lesson,” written by Jon Holsten, available to local schools.

Holsten is a veteran police sergeant and former child sex crimes investigator in Fort Collins, Colo. His children’s book (www.swimsuitlesson.com) helps parents and guardians talk to their young children and grandchildren about privacy, modesty and those who might do them harm.

The Blankets and Bears Children’s Fund organization brought Holsten to Palestine in spring 2011 for a special program and to visit area schools and hopes to bring him back in the near future.

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