September 2019 Advocacy Alert

Meet our newly elected Young Ambassador Board President, Whitney Whidden!

We are hosting another Smart Device Class at 1st United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs on Sunday, September 22 at 9:55am

We are gearing up for our 18th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Training Conference that will be held at Destiny Worship Center on September 26-27, 2019

Join us Sunday, September 29 for the 4th Annual Destin Charity Cornhole Tournament at Destin Commons benefiting the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center.

Mark your calendar for The Tribal Charity Paddle Race at LuLu's Destin on Saturday, October 19.

Tickets are on sale for Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation 's Harvest Wine & Food Festival on October 24-26 in Watercolor, FL.

We are in need of front desk volunteers at the Pierce Family Children's Advocacy Center in DeFuniak Springs!

We are in need of front desk volunteers at the Pierce Family Children's Advocacy Center in DeFuniak Springs!

May 2019 Advocacy Alert

  • In remembrance of one of our beloved therapy dogs, Tiny

  • Front Desk & Event Volunteer Opportunities

  • Our needs

  • Amazon Smile

  • Kudos

  • Destin Wine Charity Patron Dinner and Auction Weekend

  • Volunteer Appreciation Week from April

  • Key Contributor Reception

  • New Members

September 2018 Advocacy Alert

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.

August 2018 Advocacy Alert

Jim Jaquess was elected to the ECCAC Board in 2016.  He is a Director of the Northwest Florida State College Institute for Senior Professionals, has served as a Director of USA Water Ski, a member organization of the USOC for 25 years, and is a Director of the Walton County Taxpayers Association.  He is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association. He was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of the State of Kentucky in 2015.

July 2018 Advocacy Alert

Meet Tammy Pierce, Our New Board President! Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Tammy relocated to Destin in 2005 with her daughter Caitlin to continue her career in a family business specializing in manufactured housing for FEMA. Jim and Tammy married in 2009 and now live in Miramar Beach.

Introduced to the effects of child abuse when she and Jim married, together they lead the charge to make the world a safer place for our children. Donors for the Walton County location, the Center is named for the Pierce's contribution.  "We pray our gift will impact the lives of the children served by ECCAC each day." Tammy joined the Board in 2015.

June 2018 Advocacy Alert

Meet Artie! Artie Rodriguez, a native of Northwest Florida his whole life, recently joined the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center (ECCAC) board of directors.

Rodriguez has over 18 years of Walton County government experience. He is currently the Director of Administration with the Walton County Tax Collector's Office. Previously, he served the citizens as a law enforcement officer with the Walton County Sheriff's Department. He is a Certified Police Applicant Background Investigator and a 2014 graduate of the Certified Public Manager's Course offered through the Center for Public Management at Florida State University. Rodriguez is also a Certified Forensic Polygraphist through the Academy of Polygraph Science, which he studied under Dr. Richard R. Poe.

He is a recipient of the Law Enforcement Purple Heart from the American Police Hall of Fame. He was injured in the line of duty after being struck by a drunk driver back in 2002. Since then, Rodriguez has presented numerous speaking engagements at several Walton County schools to students and staff regarding the effects of driving under the influence and how it can affect someone's life. Rodriguez is also a mentor for I Take Stock in Children and on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Walton and Okaloosa counties. 

May 2018 Advocacy Alert

Captain Eric Aden, with the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, recently joined the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center's (ECCAC) board of directors. Born on Eglin AFB, Aden is the son of an aerospace engineer, pilot and teacher. He has lived in Shalimar his entire life with the exception of attending Florida State University where he graduated with a BS in Criminology. Joining the Okaloosa Sheriff's Office in 1995, Aden has served as a patrolman, resource officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and now as captain. Part of his duties include overseeing the Posse, part-time Reserve Deputies, the Watch/Patrol Commanders and the three airports in Okaloosa County.

April 2018 Advocacy Alert

Did you know that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month? Every year, Child Abuse Prevention Month brings to light the fact that many do not realize the  peril our children can experience and have to deal with right here in Northwest Florida. There are approximately 1,100 cases of child sexual and physical abuse reported annually in Okaloosa and Walton  Counties, an average of three a day. Despite those big numbers, nearly 2/3 of the actual needs to help child  victims go unmet due to lack of reporting to authorities.  Enter the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center. They provide services for young child abuse  victims and their families in a child-friendly environment.  There are two centers, one in Niceville in Okaloosa County, and the Pierce Family Children's Advocacy Center in  DeFuniak Springs in Walton County. It is estimated that for every  one child ECCAC helps, there are two children out there who are not helped.

March 2018 Advocacy Alert

Get to know Alan Wood, a member of the ECCAC Board! A career banker with 35 years in the industry, Alan has been the Florida President for CCB Community Bank since 2009. He is a big believer that bankers should be active in the communities that we serve. Alan has been a board member with the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center since 2011. During his time on the board, he has served as finance chair, treasurer, past Chairman, along with serving as the Chair of the Kieran May Memorial Golf and Gala, alongside his wife Tracy.