Not all children are exempt from child abuse in Utah County.
In fact, there are nearly 2,000 cases of child abuse each year according to the Division of Child and Family Services. Luckily, Utah County has an organization that is trying to help these physically and sexually abused children — the Utah County Children’s Justice Center (CJC).
“I think that there’s a lot of child abuse than people are not aware of,” said Cora Barrett, board member of the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center. “Fifty percent of children under 18 experience some type of abuse. The Children’s Justice Center is a center that serves our community and serves the kids that are victimized.”
In order to raise money to help children heal from abuse, the CJC holds a fundraiser each year. The Hope and Healing Festival, formerly known as the Dollhouse Festival, changed names this year in order to shift the focus to the cause and to invite more people with a wide range of interests.
“They wanted people to realize that there was more to it than dolls and dollhouses,” said Barrett, who is also a member of the Hope and Healing Festival Committee. “They thought the name indicated it was a doll thing when in reality the festival has a lot to offer people with a variety of different interests.”
This year, the Hope and Healing Festival is hoping to raise $25,000 in honor of its 25 year celebration.
If you go… When:
Dinner: Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.
Mad Hatter Tea Party: Oct. 8 at 2 p.m.
Boutique: Oct. 7 from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. and Oct. 8 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: The Manor at the Shops at Riverwoods
Cost: $100 for dinner; $10 for tea party; FREE to shop at boutique
If you go…
To kick off the festival, adults are invited to a formal dinner at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo. The night directs attention to overarching theme of the festival — to help abused children. With a silent auction and delicious meal, the 25th anniversary dinner is one for the books. Tickets are $100 and need to be reserved on cjcprovo.com.
Mad Hatter Tea Party
It’s a “very happy unbirthday” for children at the Mad Hatter Tea Party. Join the whimsical friend from “Alice in Wonderland” with light snacks, including pink lemonade, cupcakes, fruit and cheese. Besides the treats, the party has a fish pond, photo booth, fencer, storyteller and face painting. The Mad Hatter Tea Party is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at The Manor at the Shops at Riverwoods. Attendees are required to reserve tickets, which cost $10, at cjcprovo.com.
Looking for a leisurely way to help the CJC? Look no further than the boutique. Walk and shop around The Manor at the Shops at Riverwoods. Your purchases help the CJC. Locals donate handmade goods for the boutique with the most popular items being blankets and quilts. This year’s boutique also includes rubberband guns, 18-inch doll beds, Barbies, aprons and several handmade items. The boutique is open on Friday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 8 pm. and Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can donate goods to the boutique through Thursday, Oct. 6.
Intricate dollhouses will be displayed at the Hope and Healing Festival like you’ve never seen before — and there are more than traditional dollhouses. In the past, there have been forts, windmills, gas stations and train stations amongst other displays. The dollhouses are on display at the same time that the boutique is open. Winners of the silent auction will be announced at the end of the event. Bidding ends at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Learn more about the Utah County Children’s Justice Center and event at cjcfriends.com.