CLEBURNE – You never know what might happen when you gather a retired Super Bowl champion and a bunch of cowboys for a charitable cause.
Jay Novacek, a tight end on three Dallas Cowboys' Super Bowl champion teams in the 90s, pledged that anyone who turns out for the Children's Advocacy Center's Cowboys for Kids fundraiser this year will see something different – and he's putting Burleson's Jesse Vick out of work.
"I'm taking over the bullfighting this year," Novacek pronounced.
The 16th annual Cowboys for Kids fundraiser takes place with the Roping the Stars Gala at 6 p.m. April 26, when a large quantity of items will be auctioned off to support the Children's Advocacy Center. The Stick Horse Rodeo, which Sheriff Bob Alford has declared as his favorite part of the fundraiser, takes place at 11 a.m. April 27 and the PBR bull riding and celebrity team roping takes place at 7 p.m. April 27, with the first bull bucked at 8 p.m.
The Children's Advocacy Center has served abused and neglected children in Johnson County since 1997.
"We've served thousands of children," Alford said. "Hopefully, we've been able to put some lives back on the right track. This center has been a blessing to child victims."
The results speak loudly, according to law enforcement and court officials. Because of the Children's Advocacy Center, the prosecution rate of offenders has increased, cases have been completed faster and the multidisciplinary approach has caused less harm to victims, they say.
"We're not immune to this here in Johnson County," said Children's Advocacy Center executive director Tammy King. "We have a steady flow of cases that meet felony criteria."
Cases are directed to both County Attorney Bill Moore and District Attorney Dale Hanna. Cases with juvenile offenders are assigned to Moore's office and cases with adult offenders are assigned to Hanna's office.
"I've been around long enough to know what its like without a Children's Advocacy Center," Moore said. "This center is a real benefit to my office in terms of being able to prosecute cases."
Money raised through Cowboys for Kids accounts for about 52 percent of the center's funding.
"We're all here for the same reason," said Children's Advocacy Center board president Ana Patterson. "That's to help children in Johnson County who have been abused."
"You don't deal dope and you don't harm children in Johnson County," Alford said. "Our juries will hang you out to dry if you do."
Complete information on auction packages, sponsorship opportunities and table reservations for Cowboys for Kids is available at www.cowboysforkids-jc.org, or contact the center at 817-558-1599 or firstname.lastname@example.org.