On February 21, 2015, the Center for Child Counseling hosted their 2nd Annual Black Ties and French Fries fundraiser at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens. With Sunny 107.9’s Jennifer Ross and Bill Adams as the event’s emcees, this year’s theme was Wonderland. The event raised over $25,000 to support babies and young children in Palm Beach County who have experienced trauma, violence, abuse and other risk factors that impact healthy development.
Unfortunately, acts of violence and abuse toward young children in our community and around the nation are prevalent in the news and highlight the critical need for prevention and early intervention efforts. Data reports show that children under the age of 5 are placed in foster care at a faster rate than any other age group due to abuse and neglect. “Violence and trauma during the early developmental stages results in changes to the brain,” states Renée Layman, the Center for Child Counseling’s Chief Executive Officer. “Through research, we now know that these early experiences change the brain architecture, impacting health and learning in childhood and throughout the lifespan.”
Over the past fifteen years, the Center for Child Counseling has developed expertise and programs grounded in research about infant and early childhood mental health, focusing on promoting social-emotional health in the earliest years of life, which decreases an array of emotional and physical problems later in life. Board Chair, Bill Lynch, an engineer in private practice brings personal experience as a father and grandfather to his role at the Center for Child Counseling. “I was drawn to the mission of the Center for Child Counseling because of my experience and desire to make a lasting impact in our community,” states Mr. Lynch. “We are helping the youngest, most vulnerable children in our community, while providing parents and other caregivers with positive strategies to promote healthy family relationships. We believe that this is the foundation for building healthier communities.”
The proceeds from Black Ties and French Fries in Wonderland will be used to support the Center for Child Counseling’s prevention and early intervention efforts in local childcare centers in at-risk neighborhoods. “Early Childhood Mental Health is our expertise and the foundation of our mission. We know that this period of life provides the foundation for physical and emotional health throughout the lifespan,” says Ms. Layman. “This fun event for the entire family will support a critical cause while engaging children in giving back to vulnerable children in our community.”