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KidsFirst's 25th Anniversary Celebration in Roseville

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(Roseville, CA) It will be a "Blue Tie Affair" to celebrate KidsFirst's 25th Anniversary at a commemorative benefit and luncheon on Thursday, April 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Timber Creek Ballroom in Roseville, CA. 

"KidsFirst was founded in 1989, the same year the blue ribbon was first declared as the National Child Abuse Awareness ribbon color. Since April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we are encouraging attendees to wear a blue tie to keep with the theme of the 'Blue Tie Affair'," said KidsFirst Chief Executive Officer Lisa Velarde. 

KidsFirst, Placer County's primary child abuse prevention council (CAPC), has reached many milestones in the last 25-years through the growth of programs and services. In 1989, upon the incorporation of CAPC as a 501(c)3, KidsFirst was co-founded the Placer Child Death Review Team, then in 1992 opened the Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center (MDIC) in partnership with law enforcement and the District Attorney's office. 

Client services were expanded to grandparents and other caregivers raising children and KidsFirst began therapy for abuse victims. The Children's Crisis Nursery was opened in 2001 and soon-after, Placer County Child Protective Services designated KidsFirst to expand services to families reported for suspected abuse. Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention programs were launched at Sutter-affiliate hospitals and the Placer Technical Assistance Coalition was implemented to enhance prevention programs of 10 organizations serving youth. School-based education programs were created and home-based coaching for parents with young children began.

 "I was so happy to have Leticia [KidsFirst, parent educator] visiting me. It really helped a lot, because I'm the type of person who gets post-partum depression. I used to just wait for her visits. She really uplifted me," said KidsFirst, Parents as Teachers (PAT) program participant, Suzy Ibrahim. "I didn't know that communication with the baby starts very early, like reading to him at six-months. I also did not realize that I was very protective of him while he learned to "belly-crawl" or rollover. I thought it was unsafe, but with the help of Leticia, I learned a lot about what my child could do. Through all of the educational materials and tools, along with Leticia's guidance, both of my children are thriving. By providing emotional support, and knowledge on growth, nutrition and play, KidsFirst has made a huge impact in the lives of my family as well as my own." 

The goal for this year's "Blue Tie Affair" is to raise $45,000 to help support the KidsFirst vision and ensure every child in Placer County lives and thrives in a safe, healthy and nurturing home. 

"We take our role as family resource center in the community very seriously. A crisis is never planned and doesn't wait for the right conditions," continued Velarde. "Many situations are preventable and we can reduce risks when we make sure every family has the resources and support they need to raise children in a healthy environment." 

KidsFirst is a non-profit child-abuse prevention agency with three family resource centers located in Roseville, Auburn and Citrus Heights.

 "KidsFirst functions as the primary child abuse prevention council in Placer County and is a top resource for law enforcement, families in crisis and resources to help prevent and stop child abuse. KidsFirst connects families to the services they need to prevent child abuse and neglect," said Richard Knecht, Director of Children's Systems of Care for the Placer County Health and Human Services Department.

 During the "Blue Tie Affair," KidsFirst will launch a community-wide, child-abuse-prevention awareness campaign, encouraging the community to rally around the mission of ending child-abuse and neglect. The blue and silver pinwheel is the National symbol for child abuse prevention, and gardening kits will be provided to all guests with the task of creating a "Pinwheel Garden" for the KidsFirst "Plant a Pinwheel" campaign.

 "Each pinwheel is a positive reminder that together - as individuals, neighbors, and community members - we all are devoted to creating healthy, safe and nurturing experiences for children," Velarde said. "Prevention programs succeed because of partnerships among schools, health providers, religious organizations, law enforcement and the business community. Healthy childhood experiences help produce confident and successful adults. Our hope is that every person in our community takes on this challenge, whether they plant one pinwheel or 1200 in their community, schools, place of business or even their homes. No one person can do everything, but everyone can do something, and together we can help keep children safe." 

Tickets are $110 per person. For every dollar received, 93 cents will directly fund vital programs and services for the children and families of KidsFirst.

To become a sponsor or purchase tickets for the KidsFirst Commemorative 25th Anniversary and Annual "Blue Tie Affair," visit or call (916) 724-5088.

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