The annual fundraising event for the Care Cottage is a large event complete with “celebrity servers,” which are notable people from the community who agree to help waiters and waitresses serve tables in an effort to garner tips for Care Cottage.
Tammy Hickman, who works for the Center, said the Center hosts several fundraisers throughout the year and receives money from grants, but this event is the Center’s largest fundraiser of the year. She said the Center depends upon donations from the community.
“We need grants and donations from citizens and fundraising to help provide the services that we do,” Hickman said.
Those services include a wide range of things to help children deal with the aftermath of sexual abuse.
“The Care Cottage provides a safe location (that is) child friendly for [children] to come and receive all of their services in one location,” she said.
Those services range from forensic interviewing, medical exams, both long and short-term therapy and court appointed advocates to go to court for children if their cases make it into court.
“A lot of times, (cases) do not (make it to court) because of the lack of evidence,” Hickman said. “But (court advocates) are a very important piece to help the child’s long-term mental health.”
This year was Care Cottage’s sixth year of fundraising with the help of Applebee’s, Hickman said, and the tenth anniversary of Care Cottage providing services to children, making this year even bigger, she added.
“We’re hoping we do really well,” she said.
In previous years, the Applebee’s fundraiser has garnered over $10,000 for the Center, and Hickman is hopeful that mark can be met again.
“It would be wonderful if we could hit that mark again,” she said.
She said “celebrity servers” go from table to table with an assigned waiter or waitress and talk to diners about Care Cottage and the services they provide in the hopes that this chat will make those diners willing to donate money to the Center. Tip jars were placed on each table in the restaurant for people to drop donations into.
This year’s “celebrity servers” included the likes of Hazard Independent Schools Superintendent Sandra Johnson, Hazard Police officer James East, Vicco City Councilman Johnny Cummings and Hazard Community and Technical College President Dr. Stephen Greiner.
Greiner said he was happy to participate in this event because he believes in the program and feels it is a great cause.
“It’s a worthy cause, and for me to give them a few hours of my time for this cause, it’s absolutely worth it,” Greiner said.
He said the experience allowed him to meet some wonderful people and enjoy giving back to the community.
“It’s wonderful,” he said. “It’s for a good cause and I truly believe in being a servant of the community.”