On a recent pleasant fall evening, the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) benefited from a dinner hosted by Mark and Kim Fressell, proprietors of Crust Artisan Bakery in Santa Rosa Beach, and Mike and Val Thompson, owners of the Thompson 31Fifty Winery located in the Russian River Valley area of California. From appetizers to desserts, with wine pairings, a sumptuous 7-course meal was served to 10 couples who bid on this item at last spring’s live auction at ECCAC’s signature Gala.
Thompson commented, “The annual Crust dinner has become a communal affair with friends, wine enthusiasts and philanthropists. Valerie and I are blessed to have all of these people as our friends and family. Over the years, the amazing support from the attendees has helped raise the level of services provided by ECCAC to new heights.”
Crust owner/chef Mark Fressell further added, “We look forward to this event every year. Kim and I recognize the need to help children in our area and we are proud to be involved to try and make a positive impact for this important cause.”
Often, people don’t realize that there are approximately 1,100 cases of child sexual and physical abuse reported annually in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. That’s an average of 3 a day. ECCAC serves both these counties with two centers that house representatives from the Florida Department of Children and Families, Child Protection Team, State Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement, licensed mental health counselors, and ECCAC’s staff and volunteers. In the past 20+ years, ECCAC has provided more than 170,000 services in this area at no cost to over 15,000 children.
For further information about the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, visit www.eccac.org
or call 850-833-9237. If abuse is suspected, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.