A stellar lineup of literary stars showcased their latest novels at Child Abuse Listening Mediation’s 29th Annual Celebrity Authors’ Luncheon held at The Fess Parker and presented by the CALM Auxiliary.
By midmorning, a throng of more than 500 enthusiastic supporters lined the corridor and reception rooms inside the waterfront hotel for a book signing and purchasing segment headlined by Cindy Chupack, Kelly Corrigan, Andrew W. Marlowe and Hank Phillippi Ryan.
“Karen and I were not only inspired by the interviews with the celebrity authors, but also so enjoyed the camaraderie we shared with local writers,” said Simpson, co-author of Journeys: Healing Through Nature’s Wisdom.
“A truly exceptional opportunity to support CALM and to discover some terrific new books.”
Since 1986, CALM Auxiliary women board members have collectively raised more than $1 million to help children and families across Santa Barbara County recover from the impact of the emotional and physical devastation caused by abuse.
Becky Cohn and Carolyn Gillio again proudly co-chaired another successful luncheon, and proceeds from the tickets and a percentage of book sales benefit CALM.
A long-standing CALM Auxiliary member, Cohn was presented with the 2015 Claire Miles Award for continued dedication to the agency by CALM Auxiliary president Marcia Wolfe.
“This year’s award goes to a woman who has been in the Auxiliary since 1983,” Wolfe said. “Her gifts of talent and treasure are outstanding. Not only have she and her husband been generous financially, but she has spent countless hours in service to CALM.”
Cohn also acknowledged the 92nd birthday of one of the first members of the Auxiliary, Bev Raber, asked the crowd to join in singing “Happy Birthday” to her.
After the book signing, attendees strode to the ballroom for lunch and the highly anticipated celebrity author interviews presentation hosted by returning emcee Andrew Firestone, and special guests Debby Davison and Tom Weitzel, who interviewed the authors.
Founded in 1970, CALM is the only nonprofit agency in the county focused solely on preventing and treating child abuse and family violence through comprehensive cutting-edge programs.
“Today CALM has 16 different programs, offered in English and Spanish, to help end the cycle of abuse,” Wolfe said. “These services include active therapy for abused children, offender treatment therapy, parenting skills for families at risk, home visitations when needed, postpartum depression therapy, medical exams and forensic interviews, and support for foster families.
“All services are free or on a sliding fee scale. No one is turned away.”
CALM served more than 1,500 people in 2013-2014 through a variety of therapeutic and intervention programs. The agency’s diverse community-based programs include the center-based treatment that provides individual, family and group therapy to victims affected by abuse, as well family violence counseling services that are offered to youths who have witnessed domestic violence.
Another service is the school-based prevention program that offers a series of child abuse prevention presentations to children within the Santa Barbara County school system, teaching methods to be safe from abduction, negative effects from cyber-bullying and Internet safety.
Upcoming CALM events include “I Will Not Be Silent” open houses in Santa Barbara on April 10, 17, 24 and May 1. I Will Not Be A Silent is a public awareness campaign to draw needed attention to the fight against child abuse.
On April 23, the second annual Ladies Get Loud for CALM will be held in Santa Maria.
— Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.