Children's Advocacy Center's Bloom 2023 shines a spotlight on child advocacy

The Children's Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County (CAC) celebrated the success of its annual spring fundraiser, Bloom 2023, on May 11, at the NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates. The event brought together a community of dedicated supporters, volunteers and sponsors to champion the cause of protecting and healing children who have experienced abuse.

Bloom 2023 captivated attendees with an enchanting atmosphere, delectable empanadas, and amusing entertainment. The event served as a powerful platform to raise awareness about child advocacy and the indispensable work carried out by the CAC in the North and Northwest suburbs of Cook County.

Mayor Bill McLeod of Hoffman Estates was honored with the prestigious Mark Parr Champion for Children Award during the event. This esteemed recognition acknowledges Mayor McLeod's exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment to promoting child welfare and safety within the community.

Erin Merryn, an internationally recognized advocate, bestselling author, CAC board member, and survivor of child abuse, delivered a compelling keynote address. Her moving words resonated deeply with the audience, highlighting the importance of supporting and empowering children who have experienced abuse to heal and thrive.

Bloom 2023's success was made possible by the generous support of sponsors, donors, and volunteers. Their dedication and generosity made a significant impact on the event's success, enabling the CAC to continue providing free essential services to vulnerable children, including forensic interviews, therapy, and other crucial mental health services.

The event raised an impressive $175,000, a vital contribution that will help the CAC in its ongoing mission to provide comprehensive mental health services to children in need.

"What a magnificent event with a positive outcome. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of current and new CAC supporters! The effort put in by CAC staff, our co-chairs, and board and committee members was incredible. Together, we are creating a safer and brighter future for these resilient young individuals." said Melanie Pignotti, chief executive officer, of the Children's Advocacy Center.

The CAC extends its appreciation to Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod for his dedication to child advocacy and Erin Merryn for sharing her inspirational story and expertise.

For information about the Children's Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County and its vital mission, visit

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