Flutter raises record amount to serve child abuse victims

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center in Clanton held its 11th annual Flutter event on Feb. 2, and it was the agency’s most successful in its history. Over 275 local residents and donors packed the 6th Street Warehouse to be a changemaker for the child abuse victims Butterfly Bridge serves.

“It was wonderful,” Jana Zuelzke, executive director at Butterfly Bridge, said. “It was phenomenal once again, and the community came out and supported us.”

Butterfly Bridge raised around $150,000 from Flutter in 2023, including the ticket sales, silent and live auction items, sponsorships and general donations at the event. The money raised was the highest amount in the event’s history.

The money raised will go towards providing services such as core services, forensic interviews, trauma-focused therapy and family advocacy services to child abuse victims and their families. The cost of those services, which are free to families, cost anywhere between $1,400-$2,200 depending on the need in the specific case.

Butterfly Bridge stays involved with the families throughout the judicial process, which could take years to complete. That is also included in the services that will benefit from the Flutter fundraiser.

“The Flutter event ends up supporting about a third of our budget every year, and so we greatly, greatly depend on this event,” Zuelzke said.

Always the first Thursday in February, Butterfly Bridge has established Flutter as an annual event that people in the community look forward to each year. Zuelzke said the event was a lot of fun, but everyone there knew why they were there — for the child abuse victims that Butterfly Bridge serves.

“I feel like that is why people keep coming back because it is fun, but they also realize the need for it,” Zuelzke said.

Cover band Mack & Kilgore performed throughout the event and attendees bid on items from the silent auction while enjoying catered food from Valle Grande Mexican Grill in Maplesville.

Zuelzke said she received an overwhelming number of compliments for the food and the atmosphere the event created.

“Everyone in attendance that I spoke to during and after the event said ‘The food was phenomenal and the service was wonderful.’ They really outdid themselves with the food this year,” Zuelzke said. “6th Street Warehouse is the most beautiful venue for our event and it allowed us to have adequate space. They both made the event so inviting for all the attendees that were there.”

Butterfly Bridge will hold several events throughout the month of April for Child Abuse Awareness Month in their next fundraising efforts. The agency will have different events such as businesses and restaurants doing givebacks where a portion of the sales for a specific day go towards benefiting Butterfly Bridge. More details on the events being planned will be released in the coming weeks.