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KIDS Center fundraiser, Cork & Barrel, pivots to virtual events

KIDS Center child abuse

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- KIDS Center of Central Oregon, the only medical-model child abuse intervention center in our area, has pivoted its annual Cork & Barrel wine and food event fundraising series, the area’s largest wine event, to a series of virtual wine and food events.

Culminating in an evening of philanthropy by way of a virtual, live auction and paddle raise on Saturday, July 18, Cork & Barrel 2020 will also include a community giving campaign that will allow for donations to benefit KIDS Center for those who are not able to participate in the virtual fundraising event on July 18.

“Fortunately, KIDS Center remains fully operational to help hundreds of children and families impacted by child abuse in Central Oregon every year. And, because Cork & Barrel events funds 20% of KIDS Center’s annual budget, no family ever receives a bill for receiving life-changing services to evaluate child abuse as well as family support and therapy to help them heal from and overcome the devastating impact of abuse” said Gil Levy, executive director of KIDS Center of Central Oregon.

Child abuse does not stop during a pandemic. In fact, children are at increased risk for abuse due to the emotional and financial stress placed on families.

At a time when emergency rooms are seeing more severe cases of child abuse, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has reported that calls to the national child abuse hotline have dropped by 70% since the closure of school. “It is only a matter of time until the real impact to children becomes known and abuse reports skyrocket” said Levy.

The funds raised via the Cork & Barrel wine and food event series are “essential to keeping KIDS Center fully staffed and to be able to adequately process the surge in referrals to KIDS Center for suspected child abuse as communities begin the re-opening phase and when children and youth go back to school in the Fall and are under the supervision of mandatory reporters of child abuse” Levy said.

An additional way in which Cork & Barrel is pivoting its fundraising strategies this year is by way of virtual wine and food events, the first of which happens on Thursday, May 28, with JUSTIN Winery and 10below Restaurant of The Oxford Hotel.

Previously planned as an in-person evening of wine, food, and philanthropy, the winemaker dinner featuring iconic JUSTIN Winery, considered one of the founders of the premium production of wine from Paso Robles, California, and 10below restaurant of The Oxford in downtown Bend, will execute a delicious evening of storytelling and dining via a virtual platform on May 28.

JUSTIN Winery founder, Justin Baldwin, will be at the helm of wine storytelling, and a four course meal, thoughtfully-prepared by Chef Darrell Henrichs of 10below, will be picked up by ticketed guests prior to the virtual event. More information and tickets are available at: CorkandBarrel.org/winemaker-dinners/.

“The Cork & Barrel’s Winemaker Dinner series has expanded greatly over the last eight years of Cork & Barrel and we are thankful to our wine and culinary partners for their flexibility – and excitement – in making this very special evening of wine, food, and philanthropy happen in a different way due to the COVID-19 pandemic” said Robin Antonson, director of development & marketing at KIDS Center.

The delicious, in-person essence of the annual Cork & Barrel wine and food event fundraising series will resume July 15-17, 2021 at Broken Top Club. Paso Robles, California wine country, the designated wine region of Cork & Barrel 2020, will be back for the 2021 event series for three days of winemaker dinners, A Sip of Cork & Barrel, and the zenith of the event, the Grand Cru evening featuring a dinner and a Live Auction.

Those interested in participating in upcoming, virtual wine events offered by Cork & Barrel, in addition to the virtual fundraising event planned for July 18, are encouraged to visit CorkandBarrel.org for updates and information.

About KIDS Center: Founded in 1994 and built by the community, for the community, KIDS Center is a privately-funded non-profit dedicated to the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of all forms of child abuse. In a child-friendly environment, KIDS Center provides comprehensive medical evaluations to children who may have been abused, seeking to find out what has happened and to provide a path to healing through family advocacy and therapeutic services. Information about KIDS Center can be found at: KidsCenter.org or by calling, (541) 383-5958. Information regarding upcoming, virtual wine events offered by Cork & Barrel, in addition to the virtual fundraising event planned for July 18 and community campaign, are encouraged to visit CorkandBarrel.org for updates and information

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