NightLights raising awareness of child abuse and neglect

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Tree of night lights, standing like a beacon of light in the darkness of child abuse. Photo credit Craig Vollmer Photography.

Annie Lindgren | North Forty News

December 1 was Realities for Children ‘s 24th annual NightLights event. This warmer-than-average year, more than five hundred participants showed their support for the cause, enjoyed the music and festivities and joined in the countdown to light the tree.

Talented local Emma Marie shares holiday music and sings the song NightLights, pictured here with Santa Claus. Photo by Craig Vollmer Photography.

The Big Blue NightLights Tree, located at First Presbyterian Church on the corner of College Avenue and Mulberry Street in Fort Collins, raises awareness of issues of child abuse and neglect, empowering thousands of children in Larimer County affected by these acts of darkness knowing that they are not alone. The tree of over 20,000 lights is blue to represent the international color for prevention and awareness of child abuse. Community members – individuals, families and businesses – are encouraged to sponsor a Light, which will provide emergency services to children who have been abused or neglected in Larimer County through its 39 partner agencies.

Dude Dad introduces 33 Pound Chocolate Santa to the lucky winners of the design. Photo by Craig Vollmer Photography.

23 of the 39 partner youth agencies are participating in the event, giving participants the opportunity to learn more about the services available through these non-profit agencies. A full list of partner agencies can be found at RealitiesForChildren.com.

Nonprofit partners share information about the services their organizations provide to abused and neglected children. Photo by Craig Vollmer Photography.

“The funds raised on the night of the event were close to $ 105,000 for the lighting of the tree – this is the start of the NightLights fundraiser for emergency services needs. for our children. The NightLights fundraiser runs until the end of the year – so plenty of time for more Guardian Angels and people to give a night light to a child in need, ”shares Craig Secher, Executive Director of Realities for Children. Donate through www.GiveaNightLight.com.

Craig Secher, Executive Director of Realities for Children, stands alongside Katana, Triumph Prize winner and guest speaker, sharing her story of survival. Photo by Craig Vollmer Photography.

This author had the honor of attending the event with two caps. North Forty News is a media sponsor, as we often are for local fundraising events. I also participated as an employee representative for one of the partner non-profit organizations. I have spent 12 years of my career serving at-risk youth, seeing first-hand abuse and neglect, as well as the lasting impacts, and being part of connecting children and families with resources. necessary to get on the right track. This event marked me emotionally. There is something more special about a collective effort to bring light and awareness to an issue that affects our most vulnerable populations behind closed doors. A big thank you to Realities for Children for all they do to support this population, alongside partner nonprofit agencies that meet basic needs.

If you missed the event or want to learn more about this cause, you can find videos and links on the Realities for Children website: realityforchildren.com/events/night-lights/

Night light tree and sponsors. Photo by Craig Vollmer Photography.

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