BBCAC hosts tours, speaks on Flutter impact

Published 1:14 pm Monday, March 25, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center hosted a staff-guided tour of its facility on March 21, as well as shared the impact of its Flutter 2024 event in February. The nonprofit has begun hosting the tours of its facility, including the new Jeff Cobb Sr. Harbor for Heroes wing, in hopes of a better connection with people about the exact work they do to help children affected by sexual abuse.

“I think just being here in the space and hearing from the staff helps get the message out,” Brittani Ellison, BBCAC Events Development Coordinator, said. “I think telling people what we do, or them seeing it on our social media is great, but I think when they are here in the building and they are hearing from the staff that work with the children every day, I think it really resonates with the people more and they can understand it and get a grasp on what exactly Butterfly Bridge does.”

Executive Director of Butterfly Bridge Jana Zuelzke added that the tours allow other members of their staff, such as the therapists and family advocates, a chance to speak about the specifics that go into their job on a daily basis. While tours have been conducted at larger events in the past, the smaller group tours currently offer a more personable feel to the attendees.

“I think it helps people understand that we have a really great staff here who are doing this work every day,” Zuelzke said. “They are highly trained because to work with children and trauma, you have to be highly trained to do this job every day. I am really proud of the staff we have … The people who have come to the tours, they are the ones who have stuck by us, to volunteer, to donate and be involved at our events to help us. I think there are a lot of good things that come out of doing these.”

Flutter 2024 for BBCAC was another year of exceeding expectations for the nonprofit, and bringing in more than $100,000. The BBCAC Board of Directors had a goal of $115,000 at the event this year, and the goal was surpassed raising close to $122,000 between the sponsors, ticket sales, auction items and other donations.Flutter 2024 goes exclusively to the services that the nonprofit offers to the children they serve.

“I love looking around that room with all of those people in it thinking ‘They are here for the right reason,’ which is the kids,” Zuelzke said. “I feel like our staff and board do a good job with letting the community know how important it is to keep our doors open. It is pretty amazing when you look around and see almost 300 people in the room that are like minded and want to support the work that we do.”

Butterfly Bridge’s Capital Campaign and phase two of operation “Expanding Our Wings,” which added the Jeff Cobb Sr. Harbor for Heroes wing, is all but $49,000 paid off, which is 94%. The addition added a training and conference center, a medical suite for specialized exams and offices for staff and board members. The campaign will pay off the new additions to the facility completely through donors who felt compelled to help, and believe in the nonprofit’s work. It took the nonprofit under 18 months to raise 94% of the goal, and the staff feels comfortable that within the next six months they will be able to complete their goal.

“I think seeing the growth of the event, and each year we have new people that come,” Ellison said. “Seeing the support from the community and from people who have been supporting Butterfly Bridge since it was first here. Once people come they do come again because they enjoy it … Seeing everyone support the cause together is my favorite part.”

Butterfly Bridge is preparing for Child Abuse Prevention Month in April and has many events planned throughout the month. The month of awareness will begin on April 5 with its kickoff event at 11 a.m. at its Clanton office that will feature a proclamation reading, a pinwheel parade to Clanton Corner Park and a light bag lunch.