Take Note: Q&A with Melissa Bandy, Auction Chair of the Centers for Youth and Families’ EVOLVE Fundraiser

The Centers for Youth and Families is hosting its annual signature fundraiser, EVOLVE on Jan. 24 at the Little Rock Marriott.

For one night, the Marriott will be transformed into a snowy wonderland to fit this year’s Winter Nights theme. The event is one that helps serve the CFYF mission to “provide specialized prevention, intervention and treatment service that promote emotional and social wellness for children and families of Arkansas.”

We got to chat with auction chair Melissa Bandy about CFYF and the 2015 EVOLVE event. Take a look at what she had to say.


SO: What is it about the work of CFYF that makes it stand out from other organizations?

MB: When people ask me about CFYF, it is hard for me to describe it to them in just a few words, because one thing that makes CFYF stand out is its comprehensive approach to care, providing services in the areas of prevention, intervention and treatment to thousands of children and families each year. CFYF offers everything from its Parent Resource Center, Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center and Youth Emergency Shelter & Therapeutic Transitional Living Center to outpatient services, emergency services and residential treatment. 


SO: How did you get involved? What is your role?

MB: I got involved with EVOLVE when I was asked to join the CFYF Emerging Leaders, which is the young professionals auxiliary. The Emerging Leaders provide leadership for EVOLVE and Centers Classic, the CFYF annual golf tournament, and volunteer directly with children and youth served by CFYF. Last year I was the EVOLVE co-chair, and this year I am serving as the auction chair.


SO: What’s your favorite part of EVOLVE?

MB: One of the distinguishing aspects of EVOLVE is that it changes every year. EVOLVE has taken us from New Year’s in Shanghai to the streets of Rio for Carnival, and now to a wintery wonderland. It is challenging to come up with new décor, entertainment and food every year, but that also keeps the event fresh and fun.


SO: How can readers get involved with CFYF?

MB: There are many ways to get involved in CFYF. Volunteers are needed to help with ticket sales, donor solicitations and other needs for special events like EVOLVE and our annual golf tournament. There are also opportunities to work directly with children and youth by providing parties or activities for the residents and helping with ongoing needs for clothing, backpacks, school supplies and gifts at Christmas. Interested volunteers can contact the CFYF Foundation for more information.


For more information about EVOLVE and to purchase tickets, click hereIf you’re interested in learning about volunteer opportunities with CFYF, click here

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