The 27th Annual Arkansas Children’s Award Dinner benefiting the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches raised more than $255,000, surpassing its goal of $200,000, to provide safe, healthy and loving homes for Arkansas children.
The event, held Nov. 9 in the Little Rock Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom, had over 470 people in attendance. The evening included a reception, dinner, a silent and live auction, a heartfelt testimonial from former rancher Isaac Tugg and an award presentation.
The year’s Arkansas Children’s Award honored Christy Clark for her dedication to building a better future for Arkansas children and the state’s next generation of leaders.
“Having the opportunity to recognize Christy for her deep generosity in supporting Arkansas children was an honor,” said Matt Cleveland, chief development officer of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. “Supporters and sponsors made this year’s Arkansas Children’s Award dinner a success by ensuring the ranch has the resources it needs to continue making a difference in the lives of future generations.”
Master of Ceremonies for the event was former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, who has emceed the event for the past 27 years and is a longtime supporter of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches.
Other program speakers included Dr. Chuck Welch, Arkansas State University president; William Clark, CEO of Clark Contractors; and media personality David Bazzel, who hosted the live auction and donation raffle which gave away a $1,500 gift card donated by Mack’s Prairie Wings of Stuttgart.
Event sponsors included Clark Contractors as presenting sponsor, the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association as founding sponsor and Stone Ward as diamond sponsor. Auction items included donations from Sissy’s Log Cabin, LET Varsity Farms, Little Rock artist Pat Matthews and professional fisherman Joey Cifuentes.
The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches’ mission is to address, remedy and prevent child abuse and neglect by creating safe, healthy and loving homes for Arkansas children. The ranch is 100 percent privately funded, and with the support of individuals, businesses and foundations, it pays for all needs associated with raising a child including loving house parents, shelter, medical care, food, clothing and educational expenses.
The organization is a statewide, private nonprofit 501(c)(3), founded in 1976 by the Sheriffs of Arkansas originally to provide a safe, loving shelter for two boys living in a neglectful home. Since then, the ranch has served over 2,200 Arkansas boys and girls in need and is still growing to serve more youth.