PLANO — The Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County’s Gala 2017 raised more than $450,000, benefiting children victimized by abuse or neglect with more than 800 guests in attendance on April 29 at Hyatt Regency Dallas. The event featured a headline performance by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.


“As I sit back and look over the past 25 years for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County, I am in awe,” CACCC CEO Lynne McLean said. “More than 60,000 children and their families have found refuge within our walls. They have found safety from the most horrific of circumstances as well as a lifetime of healing. And so much of this has been made possible through funds raised at our annual Gala. Through this event, nearly $650,000 is generated every year to ensure that every abused or neglected child has the opportunity for life changing services. Your generosity is overwhelming and your commitment to these children is inspiring.”


Four-time Grammy winner Pat Benatar and husband Neil Giraldo, also a professional musician, producer and arranger, are truly a rock-n-roll powerhouse couple. During the 1980s, Benatar had 19 Top 40 singles, including the Top 10 hits, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Love Is a Battlefield,” “We Belong,” “Shadows of the Night” and “Heartbreaker.” Her hits continue to be as unforgettable now as they were at the dawn of MTV, when Pat emerged, fighting and forging a path for other female rock stars around the world.


Stephanie and Gene South, longtime supporters of CACCC, served as Honorary Chairs for Gala 2017. Stephanie has been a member of the CACCC’s board of directors since 2000 and currently serves as the CACCC board president. Gene and Stephanie advocate for the children CACCC serves within the community as volunteers and as donors.


“Our community is healthy and strong,” Stephanie South said. “Ensuring that everyone that lives in our growing county knows we are here to serve them is critical. Gene and = I encourage you to stand with us to ensure no child is left to face abuse or neglect alone in Collin County. Here we are celebrating 25 years of service — pausing to recognize all the great work that has been accomplished thus far — what a proud moment. But, we must press on and we need the support of this great community so we can ensure that the Center can continue to offer free services to 100 percent of the children and families that come through the Center doors.”


Twenty-five hundred tickets were sold, raising $125,000 to benefit the children CACCC serves in the community.