A live auction Saturday evening benefited children taken into custody by Grayson County Child Protective Services.
The funds raised by the auction, which was held at 903 Brewers in Sherman, went directly to the Grayson County Child Welfare Board, a non-profit that provides support for CPS. The auction featured a large collection of memorabilia from the former Denison restaurant and bar Loose Wheels, which closed in June. The former owners of Loose Wheels donated the memorabilia to the Child Welfare Board.
Board President Mark Teague said the need for the board has increased in recent years because of an influx of children coming into the system. As a former child of the system himself, Teague said working with the board is very near and dear to his heart. Teague said he tries to look after the children, but he can’t do without public support. He said it’s also getting harder with an ever increasing number of children being taken into CPS custody.
“A few years ago, if we had over 100 kids in CPS custody, that was a big deal,” Teague said. “Now we’re up to 200. We’ve been as high as 280.”
He attributed much of that to a community more willing to report abuse than in previous years.
When it came to the turnout for Saturday’s auction, Teague was impressed with the estimated 200 people at the event, including several people present with their own children.
“It’s awesome,” Teague said. “We’ve had several fundraisers, all of them have been well attended and supported. We always get local businesses to help with donations.”
Teague said all the board did was hire the auctioneer, who handled the rest. And 903 Brewers provided the venue.
“Money is great but awareness is even better,” Teague said. “If people are aware what’s going on in our community and they report like they should, that helps. Foster parents have limited resources. We help them every step of the way as much as we can.”
He said the organization has been reaching more people, especially with the rise of social media.
Even though the county donates $6,500 a year to help fund its work, the Child Welfare Board does a lot, Teague explained. In addition to providing for the basic needs of children in the system, the board also helps pay for training CPS investigators, as well as paying for drug tests when children are taken into custody.
“We have a great veteran group who are well trained,” Teague said. “They do a great job.”
The board raises money to ensure children who are taken into CPS custody, have the items they need, ranging from clothes to diapers depending on the case.
“Our mission is to support CPS and the children in their custody,” Teague said.