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Butterfly Bridge holding online auction fundraiser

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center has taken its annual fundraiser Flutter online this year in response to social distancing restrictions.

The organization works with children who have been abused or witness to a violent crime, conducting forensic interviews for law enforcement and providing counseling for the children.

All services are provided for free.

These services have continued to be needed throughout the pandemic.

“We have definitely seen an increase in the amount of services, especially when it comes to the mental health services that we provide,” executive director Jana Zuelzke said. “We always had families return for that service … but we are at the point now that I have never seen us provide so many therapy services.”

Festivities for this year’s Flutter are being held via Facebook on the Butterfly Bridge, Children’s Advocacy Center page and through email.

Brittani Ellison of Butterfly Bridge said the organization was looking for ways to keep the community engaged in the fundraiser, even though it was not being held in person.

“We are doing videos that feature our board members talking about why they serve and why it is important to have Butterfly Bridge in the community … We have short mission videos from our staff letting people know the services they provide, why they serve and why they work at Butterfly Bridge,” Ellison said. “We will also be doing videos about our sponsors to talk about their business and why they feel it is important to sponsor and to donate.”

Facebook Live auction videos will be conducted on Mondays to kick off the weekly auction. Ellison said the auction items have been divided into four groups. A different group of items will be introduced through a video each Monday. A photo album of the items with details and opening bid information will be uploaded to the organization’s Facebook page with bidding on individual items being conducted through the picture’s comments. Ellison said some of the auction items will need to picked up by the auction winner, while other items will be mailed to the winner.

Making the decision to make the annual fundraiser a virtual event was difficult for the organization.

“Going virtual you are always scared … that we might not bring on the amount of money that we need to,” Zuelzke said. “This event brings in 20% of the budget for our Chilton County office.”

She said the response has been good so far.

The goal is to raise $60,000.

Providing services for one child from the beginning forensic interview to their final counseling session usually cost the organization $1,400-$1,500, Zuelzke said.

If Butterfly Bridge reaches its goal, it would have raised enough to help about 40 children.

In addition to the auction, donations are being accepted via flutter.swell.gives or by check mailed to P.O. Box 588, Clanton, AL 35046. So far, Flutter has raised $21,874.