‘Diamonds are Forever’ helps support Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

BURNET — The Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center’s “Diamonds are Forever, Childhood is Not” benefit gives community members the opportunity to have a good time while supporting children.

The event on Sept. 28 at the Quail Point Lodge, 107 Twilight in Horseshoe Bay, includes cocktails, dinner, an auction, a casino and entertainment.

While it’s a good time, Executive Director Ronda Hostetter said it provides support for the organization, which helps children who have been victimized or witnessed a violent crime.

The advocacy center, located in Burnet, provides a safe, child-friendly place for interviews and examinations. A forensic interviewer conducts the interview, which is videotaped. By doing it in this manner, the child doesn’t need to undergo several interviews.

“Before children advocacy centers, a child needed to be interviewed multiple times, often in scary places to them,” Hostetter said.

The constant reliving of the experience through the interviews just caused more pain and anguish for the child victim. Now, the forensic interviewer conducts the interview and videotapes it.

“We provide those tapes to law enforcement and others who need copies,” Hostetter said. “This way, the child goes through one interview in a child-friendly environment.”

The center feels more like a home than a sterile police office or other “formal” interview setting, so it’s not as scary for the child.

The advocacy center serves children in eight counties. It relies heavily on donations and fundraisers such as the “Diamonds are Forever, Childhood is Not” for funding as well as building awareness of the program and the need for it.

“We still have tickets available,” Hostetter said.

Tickets for the event are $100 each. People also can make donations to the center.

Go to www.hccac.org for more information or for tickets.

daniel@thepicayune.com