ENID, Okla. — Those attending this year’s ninth annual Forget Me Not dinner event benefitting Garfield County Child Advocacy Council are asked to RSVP by Aug. 6, 2019.

The event will be 7-9 p.m. Aug. 13 at Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, 507 S. 4th. The cost is $75 per person or $500 to sponsor a table of eight. Dress for the event is casual.

In case of rain, the event will be held at the Hallie Gantz Center, 2200 East Maine.

Garfield County Child Advo­cacy Council is a private and nonprofit agency serving abused and neglected children and their families in throughout Northwest Oklahoma.

All proceeds from the Forget Me Not dinner will benefit the Child Advocacy Council through an endowment fund held by Cherokee Strip Community Foun­dation.

This year’s speaker is Dr. Barbara Sorrels, executive director of the Institute for Childhood Education, which is dedicated to the development and delivery of training material and curriculum to those who work with children.

Sorrels also is CEO and founder of Connected Kids, a nonprofit organization devoted to providing resources and training to those who are parenting or teaching children.

“The speaker, I think, is the biggest draw. She is nationally known as an early childhood educator,” said Garfield County Child Advocacy Executive Director Carole Wade.

“We’re going to have good food, a good setting, a great speaker and the the cause is worth supporting and that’s to raise funds for our endowment.”

She said those involved in early childhood education are encouraged to attend this year’s event.

‘We think they will find this speaker really interesting,” Wade said, noting a table or two have been purchased for local educators to attend.

“If someone would like to come, especially if they are an early child educator, call us and we can make accommodations.”

Those who would like to attend the dinner but who did not receive an invitation can call to the Child Advocacy Council at (580) 242-1153 to RSVP for the event and purchase tickets.

In 2018, the GCCAC provided 226 forensic interviews and forensic examinations to child abuse victims, advocacy services for 386 children and 228 caregivers, and court representation of 136 children by 50 Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers.

The advocacy center has a volunteer board of directors and works in partnership with the Department of Human Services, the office of the District Attorney, Enid Police Department, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and medical and mental health providers through a multi-disciplinary child abuse response team.

The center is funded by a combination of grants and state appropriated funds through the Child Abuse Multi-disciplinary Account and also is a participating agency of the United Way of Enid.

Sorrels also is the author of the award-winning book “Reaching and Teaching Children Exposed to Trauma,” and “Ready or Not Here Comes School” and “Nurturing Healthy Attachments: Building Parent/Child Connections that Last a Lifetime.”

Sorrels has worked more than the last 40 years in the field of early childhood education in capacities ranging from classroom teacher, founder and director of two early childhood centers, university professor, consultant and parent educator.

She holds a bachelor of arts in early childhood development from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in religious education from Southwestern Seminary and a doctorate in early childhood from Oklahoma State University.

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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains.
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