September 2018 Advocacy Alert
Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center September  Newsletter
Pierce Family /   Donate  /   Events  /   Services
Meet Velia Lala

This month, get to know the creator of our annual Wiggin' Out For A Cause event: Velia Lala! 

From Louisiana, Lala permanently moved to this area in 2011. With a background in sales and management, Lala is now the artist/owner of Velia Lala Art & Design based in Shalimar. She knew that moving here would lead her to her first love - art. Growing up, she did not always have the easiest childhood and art was her way to escape the negative and find a happy place. Lala often donates her art to area charities.

 "Besides creating my own paintings, sculpture, clothing, furniture and faux wall décor, I teach classes and do corporate team building experiences...always trying to tie in how creativity can break down barriers and build positive energy in each person," commented Lala. "I am honored to be serving on the board of ECCAC, children's well-being is a high priority of mine. I hope to help grow community awareness, support and be an enthusiastic advocate for ECCAC."

For the past three years, Lala has been co-chair for Sinfonia Gulf Coast's largest annual fund raiser, Wine, Women & Shoes. In Louisiana, she served on the board of directors for United Way in Lafayette, and she was also involved with committee work there for Kiwanis, Special Olympics, and Junior League.

And, this year, at the 4th Annual Wiggin' Out For A Cause ladies night out, Velia helped us to raise over $20,000! It was a record breaking year! 

Destin Charity Cornhole Tournament

Join us Sunday, September 30th for the 3rd annual Destin Charity Cornhole Tournament benefitting the  Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center !   Registration includes  World of Beer  Beer Garden access with bottomless Craft Beer, Mimosas, Bloody Mary's, Belgian Pretzels, Wings, and Corndogs. This double elimination tournament is limited to 75 teams, early registration required! Teams have the chance to win $750 in cash & prizes! Each team of two will receive a swag bag with event t-shirts and other goodies from our sponsors.   Team check-in day-of is from 10:00am-11:30am.

We're gearing up for the 11th Annual Baytowne Beer Fest at The Village of Baytowne Wharf! On October 12 and 13, discover American specialty brews from around the nation as you sip and sample your way through the festival.  The event will feature over 200 domestic and international craft beers available at the event, offering an opportunity to learn about the different types of lagers and ales from a variety of styles. To purchase your tickets, please click here.

Produced by the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, the Harvest Wine & Food Festival provides patrons the opportunity to sip and savor some of the world's finest wine and culinary selections while enjoying the iconic beach town of WaterColor.  Labeled as one of the premier fall wine events in the Southeast, Harvest Wine & Food Festival showcases over 400 wines paired with food stations designed to highlight the best in Gulf Coast fare. Each event during the three-day festival is tailored to fit the different tastes and preferences of wine and food aficionados! To learn more about the three days, and to purchase your tickets, please click here.

Baytowne Beer Festival
We will need LOTS of volunteers to help with this event! On October 13 we will need volunteers to help in the morning {this shift provides a free ticket to the event} and we will need volunteers to help in the afternoon {this shift provides a free six pack of craft beer}!

Harvest Wine & Food Festival
Volunteers are needed to help with the three days of events at the Harvest Wine & Food Festival! Stay tuned to learn more about volunteering opportunities.

Festival of Trees
This year, the ECCAC is benefitting from Grand Boulevard's Festival of Trees! We are needing volunteers to be on a committee who are wanting to help us come up with a theme for our tree, gather decorations, and help us decorate!

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact Chelsea Fox at or at (850) 833-9237 ext. 256

We're feeling spooky at the ECCAC, because Halloween is right around the corner! We are currently accepting donations of candy to give to our kids at each Center!

Toothbrushes and Toothpaste 
Oral hygiene is important, which is why the ECCAC is currently seeking donations of Toothbrushes and Toothpaste.

We accept donations at both of our Centers, and thank you for your support! 
Another year, another amazingly successful Wiggin' Out For A Cause ladies night out! This year, we raised over $20,000! We are so grateful for all of the support, and we are especially thankful for all of the help from Velia Lala and Dana Saffel!

We are humbled and honored, words just are not enough. Thank you to the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation f or raising $280,000 dollars for our kids!! Let no child be a victim of abuse or neglect. Thank you for helping us in the fight to STOP CHILD ABUSE!

We would like to thank the Shalimar United Methodist Church for blessing the First Responders on September 11.

Thank you to Tyler Fuller and Crosspoint United Methodist Church for helping to create an informational video for the Center.  They will be sharing it at their Orphan Sunday Service along with other amazing missions they support.  

Jennifer Clark, Chief of Operations of the Pierce Family Children's Advocacy Center, had the pleasure of speaking to the Walton County Garden Club. Thank you for the opportunity to pass along our Center's mission to all of you!

We'd like to send a big shoutout to Stubbs Orthodontics! They raised over $600 for the ECCAC in June's Check in for a Cause event!

The Prescription Place in Niceville gave the ECCAC a generous donation of much needed supplies for our Centers! Our children and families thank you!

Our incredible volunteers were up bright and early for the Alys Beach 5K! We cannot thank them enough for all of their handwork and help!

Sandestin Wine Festival
September FRESH BAKED sponsor

Niceville Loc-N-Stor

Israel Williams of Ziic Outdoors, LLC. 
See what's happening on our social sites:
February Advocacy Alert
Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center February Newsletter
Pierce Family /   Donate  /   Events  /   Services
It was with much sadness that we had to say goodbye to our fearless COO,  Pat Franklin, at the end of 2017.  Pat touched just about every aspect of the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center. From making sure victims received the care they deserved, to managing repairs in both Centers (she is now an AC technician ), and making sure our staff was cared for, she  did it all with a smile, and a very calming presence. We will miss her tremendously and wish her luck as she continues her career in Tallahassee with DCF.
As Pat steps out, Jennifer Clark steps in. Jennifer has been with ECCAC for many years as a mental health advocate, and most recently as the  child abuse program prevention manager. Congratulations Jennifer!

Did you know? The yearly cost for one therapy dog is $1,000. 
To learn more and get involved, please go online to:

Join us at Island Wing Company on Saturday, February 17 for February Eating for Advocacy! All day, 10% of the sales will benefit the ECCAC! And, if you bring a donation of the following items, you will get a FREE appetizer on your next visit:
New Socks
New Underwear
Bottled Water

Rock the dock with Louis Louis in celebration of their 8th season! On February 24, there will be three seating times available {5 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.} for guests to drink, dine, and celebrate. Tickets are $40 per person for this private event. Food and beverages extra. All ticket sales will be donated to the ECCAC! Cruise ship attire is a Loveboat theme, and we hope to see everyone there for a fantastic evening! To purchase your tickets, please click here

We invite you to join us for the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce's First Friday Coffee at the First Baptist of Fort Walton Beach on Friday, March 2! Enjoy networking, coffee, and learn more about the ECCAC! 

We're teeing up for the annual Kieran May Memorial Weekend! The weekend will kick off with a Celebration Evening on Friday, March 9 at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Then, on Sunday, March 11, the Golf Tournament will take place at Kelly Plantation. This year, we are thankful for the incredible sponsors who have already stepped up: Jim & Tammy Pierce, Coastal Accounting, Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates with Merrill Lynch, My Vacation Haven, America's Swimming Pool Co., Simple HR, Johnny on the Spot, the Donut Hole, Amy Rogers, Regal Stephens Builder-Developer, Hyatt Family, Acentria Insurance, Community Bank, Conerly, Bowman, and Dykes, Kleinfeld, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC, Trustmark Bank, and Acme Oyster House. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or purchasing tickets to the Gala, please click here

Fiesta like there is no Mañana! Enjoy a flavorful afternoon on Destin Harbor full of tequila tastings, contests, live music and tacos of all kind! Head over to HarborWalk Village on Saturday, March 10 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the best tacos and tequila on the Emerald Coast. To purchase your tickets, please click here

Smart Device Class

Save the date! The Emeril Lagasse Foundation's Chi Chi Miguel Weekend will be 
  Thursday, April 5 through Saturday, April 7! The weekend kicks off on Thursday, April 5 with the Wine Walkabout, sponsored by Curate. On Friday, April 6 the 
Golf Tournament will tee off, with presenting sponsor Seagar's, and the Sip N Shop will take place, sponsored by Silver Sands Premium Outlets. And, finish the weekend on Saturday, April 7 with the Throwdown Benefit Auction & BBQ, sponsored by Isagenix! We are excited to be a part of this fantastic event again, and can't wait to share more details with you! 


Mark your calendars for the 13th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction! We invite you to join us April 27 through April 29 for tastes of the best wine, auction opportunities, and much more as we raise money for local children's charities! To learn more and to purchase your tickets, please click here!

Tour Our Centers

We invite you to tour our Centers! Tours will take monthly at each center from 10am until 2pm. February tours will take place on Tuesday, February 27 in DeFuniak Springs and Thursday, February 22 in Niceville. If you can't make either, please contact Kim (850-833-9237 ext 283) or Chelsea (ext 256) for a private tour. We would love to show you what your support means to our community.

We are currently looking for volunteers for the 5th Annual Tequila and Tacos Fest on Saturday, March 10 at Harborwalk Village! All volunteers will receive a free t-shirt as well as food during their shift and an after event pizza/beer party.
Available shifts are:
Fri, Mar 9
Set up 2pm to 6pm
Sat, Mar 10
Set up then move to ticketing 9am to 230pm
Ticketing 11am to 6pm
Drink or food booths 11am to 6pm
Runners 11am to 6pm
Judges helpers 11am to 6pm
Armband checkers 11am to 6pm
To volunteer, please email the following information:
Name, email, cell phone,preferred shift and any physical limitations
(so that we can place you properly)
Contact Kim at 850-833-9237x283 for further info

Other volunteer opportunities are:
  •  Volunteers needed to assist with the 4thAnnual Wiggin' Out event procuring auction items
  • Volunteers needed for the Kieran May Memorial Golf & Gala weekend, March 9th and 11th. See Chelsea for shift information
  • Volunteers needed for the upcoming Chi Chi Miguel weekend. Shifts are still being determined, but let Chelsea know if you are interested.
If you are interested in any of these opportunities above or have questions, please email or call (850) 833-9237 ext. 256.

Furniture For Sale
We are doing some spring cleaning to start off the year, and currently have two desks for sale! The first desk is $100, and the second is $50. You must be able to pick these up from the Niceville Center! 
Please contact Angie at or 850-833-9238x253 for more info.

Other Needs
**individual bags of chips for gift baskets for our local Law Enforcement
**baskets, all shapes and sizes

Seagar's hosted the ECCAC Appreciation Party, and we had a wonderful evening tasting their fine wines and sampling a few of their delectable appetizers! We would like to thank Charlotte, Will, and Chef Laurie for their incredible hospitality and for hosting us! 

A big THANK YOU to the Village of Baytowne Wharf for donating the proceeds of the Baytowne Beer Festival to the ECCAC! $3,000 was raised at this annual festival, and we are so grateful we got to be a part of it! 

Thank you to Northwest Florida State College for donating water to our Centers! Kelsey King with the college dropped off these waters, and we are so grateful for the incredible support from our community! 

The Army Aviation Federal Credit Union dropped by and donated $500 to the ECCAC, and we are so thankful for their continued support! 

Congratulations are in order, because Kelly Henderson was awarded the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office Investigator of the Year! 

Sandestin Wine Festival
February FRESH BAKED sponsor
CFC # 28846

Niceville Loc-N-Stor

Israel Williams of Ziic Outdoors, LLC. 
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