Being named King and Queen is all in good fun, but the cause behind it is a very serious one – one that Amanda and Nick Kitts hope the Switzerland County community will join them in supporting.
The couple have been nominated as the King and Queen candidates from Switzerland County for the upcoming Mardi Gras fundraiser celebration for the Children’s Advocacy Center.
The Children’s Advocacy Center is headquartered in Dillsboro, Indiana, and works to interview children who have been abused or neglected. The staff is trained to do forensic interviewing, so that investigators can get the disclosures in one interview, so the child doesn’t have to repeat their story to all of the different entities.
This is an organization and a cause that is very personal to Amanda and Nick.
“I was around at DCS (Department of Child Services) when the CAC was built,” Amanda said. “I was forensically trained to do those interviews, so I actually conducted the first interview at the CAC before it was even open. I’ve kind of been involved since then. I’ve had my hand in a lot of things, but it’s always been an important place to me. I used it when I worked at DCS. I used it in my other jobs, and I’ve always been involved in the community where I work with children, and specifically children who have been abused or neglected. It’s always been one of those passions close to me.”
Nick is a police officer for the Town of Vevay, so he works with families and children in that role.
“Their interviews are audio and video recorded,” Amanda Kitts said. “Typically what happens is, if you have the whole team together – the prosecutor can be present, law enforcement can be present – so that way during the interview process they can ask the questions they need to ask to get the information they need in that one interview, so when it comes to court time, they already have those things taken care of. That way the child doesn’t have to go through all of those things, again.”
The Mardi Gras is the CAC’s biggest fundraiser of the year. This is the event’s third year, and each year each county that the CAC serves has King and Queen candidates.
“It’s basically our job to raise as much money as we can for the CAC,” Amanda said. “Every dollar raised is a vote for that candidate. Of course we don’t win anything other than knowing that we raised the most money.”
Amanda said that she and Nick have been trying to fund raise by reaching out to businesses and having different events, such as the bake sale that they had during October. She’s also reached out on social media, has a GoFundMe account; and has opened accounts at both MainSource Bank and Friendship State Bank to accept donations, or you can contact Amanda or Nick personally through social media.
The easiest way for someone to donate is to go to the CAC’s website: www.cacsoutheast.org. Once on the website, there is a button on the right hand said that says, “DONATE”. Clicking there will take visitors to a listing of the King and Queen candidates from the various counties cared for by CAC, and Amanda and Nick Kitts are the first ones listed.
Donors can use a credit card to make a donation.
CAC represents Dearborn, Decatur, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, and Switzerland counties.
“With such a small community, it’s really hard to get that backing,” Amanda said. “We don’t have the resources that the other counties that we’re up against, like Dearborn County and Jefferson County. They have a lot more resources, a lot more businesses, a lot more population than we have.”
Amanda said that the most important part of all of this is for people to know more about what the CAC is and how it helps the children of Southeastern Indiana during very difficult times in their young lives.
“Some people don’t know what the CAC does, and some people don’t even know its exists,” Amanda said. “It’s hard to donate money when you don’t even know what it’s for. We need to get that message out there.”
The Mardi Gras will be held on Saturday, February 25th, at the Lawrenceburg Events Center.