Community gathers to support children

The Jackson community gathered at the Carl Perkins Center during the ‘Blue Suede Spectacular’ event to support the fight against child abuse, Feb. 26. Union’s Kappa Delta sorority helped to serve the dinner. | Photo by Ebbie Davis

By Ebbie Davis

Pictures of children in need lined the walls of the Carl Perkins Civic Center Feb. 25, while the Jackson community and some Union University students came to serve and raise funds for the faces displayed while at the “Blue Suede Spectacular.”

Union students from the Kappa Delta sorority provided service throughout the night by volunteering to be part of the serving staff during the dinner portion of the evening. One of Kappa Delta’s philanthropies is Prevent Child Abuse in America, and its local chapter, the Carl Perkins Civic Center, always calls on them to help.

“The Kappa Deltas are so good to help, and when I say they come to help they really do, and believe me, it’s great,” said Stephanie Isaacs, event manager.

“I’ve been doing this for four years and they’ve helped every year since I’ve been here. I know I can always count on them.”

Having the encouragement and support of the community is something Delaine Bottoms, vice president of the Carl Perkins Civic Center, said she gets excited about.

She said the event could not happen without people in the Jackson area.

“The people here, living in this community, want what’s best for the children,” Bottoms said. “It’s remarkable how everybody comes together to pull this event off. There are hundreds of volunteers involved, including Kappa Delta from Union University. Because it’s their national philanthropy and charity to raise awareness for abused children, they come to us and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ and that’s so wonderful.”

Making the event an exciting venue is an important part of the planning process, because the organizers want not only to have a charity event and raise awareness but also to entertain the people of Jackson and explain what the Carl Perkins Civic Center is all about.

“We are excited about this event, this is money we use that goes straight back to the children,” Bottoms said. “All the children we work with are either abused or neglected and are all needy right now.”

Many bands performed, including Neil McCoy, who played his song “That’s a Picture” for the first time before a live audience. Isaacs said McCoy was one of the most incredible things happening Saturday night.

“The song inspired the idea of hanging photographs of the children around at this event to remind everyone the real reason we are here,” Isaacs said.
Kara Kitchens, sophomore athletic training major and vice president of community service for Kappa Delta, said, “This is our main philanthropy so we’re always trying to help out wherever we can. Tonight we filled up glasses and carried food to the tables in order to make the process easier on the wait staff. We want to do whatever we can to help out.”

Just like Kappa Delta, many people from around the Jackson area came out to stand up for the prevention of child abuse. The Jackson community is known to be active when the Carl Perkins Civic Center needs assistance with supporting the children in the program.

Whether by playing instruments, donating time and money or purchasing tables and items from the silent auction, the Carl Perkins Civic Center was filled with servanthood and community.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.