Following a redesign of the Children’s Advocacy Center, Dawn D. Totty of Dawn D. Totty Designs is announces a grand opening celebration of the facility has been set for Friday, May, 29.
The CAC which has been in local operation for four years serves severely abused children, both male and female, from the ages of 2-18. Children from Jasper, as well as surrounding Middle Tennessee areas come to the non-profit center as a safe place for counseling and healing. It is comprised of several board members and with Gina Presto (president), Gene Hargis (chief detective of Marion County) and Kathie Tierney (Jasper Chamber of Commerce president), leading the organization.
As this project is so near and dear to her heart, Ms. Totty spent five months redesigning the center pro bono. Through her fundraising efforts, she was able to raise $24,000 for the project. With services combined, it was $50,000 redesign. She said she strived to create a center that would be both comforting and uplifting, as those who enter need a safe place of healing. Through a generous variety of donations, Ms. Totty’s design skills, and other helping hands, the vision has been achieved.
“Everyone was a child once," said Ms. Totty. "Some have had a beautiful, childhood experience, but others have not. My main objective is in some small way to restore some joy for these sweet children – joy that has been lost through abuse. Creating a calm and happy healing environment is a good place to start.
“This is the biggest and most important project I’ve ever completed in my career since the day I started working at 16 years old. Designing and being project manager for the CAC has taught me a multitude of lessons - particularly lessons in human nature. I’ve learned that generally people are kind and generous. When people heard about these hurting children, they were happy to assist me in so many ways – they volunteered their time and monetary donations."
The CAC, which has been at this location since 2018, really caught Ms. Totty’s eye. She had a deep desire to redesign the facility, but would need the green light first.
“In a nutshell, I found out about this facility and it really weighed on my heart to elevate and beautify the space, so that it would be much more child friendly and welcoming," said Ms. Totty. "I set up a meeting with Gene Hargis. I went in for our meeting, offered to waive my service fees and to do my own fundraising. He jumped at the opportunity,” she recalled.
Now, they are all excited to share the redesign with the public.
“The grand opening is a chance for our community to come together, and to launch the center into a very impactful and positive reopening," said Ms. Totty. "We will have champagne, appetizers, lavender in the diffuser and some professional live entertainment."
The grand opening which will be held at the center (5510 Hwy. 41 Jasper, TN 37347), has been set to kick off at 4:30 p.m., CST. Monetary donations continue to be welcomed and appreciated.