16th Annual Spirit of Spring
The Children’s Assessment Center
16th Annual Spirit of Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show
The 16th Annual Spirit of Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show benefiting The Children's Assessment Center was held on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the Royal Sonesta. This year’s Spirit of Spring marked a very special occasion as The CAC celebrated 16 years of Houston pledging support for child victims of sexual abuse. It was a full house with over 460 supporters in attendance helping to raise over $330,000 for programs that are critical to the healing of child victims of sexual abuse.
Outstanding event chairs Monica Blaisdell, Joanna Marks and Hannah McNair planned a delightful afternoon with the perfect mix of fabulous spring and summer fashions coupled with a focus on the serious issue of child abuse and how we as a community can better protect our children. A highlight of the afternoon was when Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia presented a check in the amount of $500,000 to The CAC’s Capital Campaign. This contribution was made on behalf of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and was money from their Asset Forfeiture Fund. The fashions for this year’s show were provided by Neiman Marcus and featured designer Lela Rose.
The guest speaker for the event was Sasha Joseph Neulinger, a remarkable young man, and a survivor of child sexual abuse. Between the ages of four and eight, Sasha was sexually abused by two of his uncles and one male cousin. Sasha's uncles had also abused Sasha’s father when he was a child. Sasha is the Co-Founder and Head of Production with Step 1 Films, a Montana based film production company. Sasha is currently directing an independent documentary film titled, Rewind to Fast-Forward. The documentary uses home movies, filmed by Sasha’s dad over his entire childhood. It shows how his life deteriorated as the abuse secretly went on, and how his journey eventually took him from being a victim to being a survivor.
Dominique Sachse served as the dynamic Mistress of Ceremonies and Stephen Lewis served as Auctioneer for the Live Auction items – a beautiful pendant from I.W. Marks Jewelers and a signed jersey and golf outing with Houston Texans Tight End Garrett Graham.
This year’s signature underwriter was Neiman Marcus. Other underwriters included: Laura and John Arnold, CenterPoint Energy, H-E-B, I.W. Marks Jewelers and The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation. CAC Foundation Board of Directors members in attendance included Ericka Bagwell, Susan Boggio, Paul Bragg, Diane Caplan, Brady Crosswell, Chris DeClaire, Emily Essaye, Allison Flikerski, Yolanda Green, Kelley Lubanko, Lauren Maloy, Yvette Webb, Kelli Weinzierl and Phyllis Williams. Others present were CAC Executive Director Elaine Stolte, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, Amy Lee, Bruce Padilla, Elizabeth Petersen and Megan Sutton-Reed.