Binge on barbecue and provide life-saving services for area children

Published 10:00 am Friday, April 26, 2024

Barbecue lovers may equate well-prepared meats with therapy, but a yearly Brookhaven event actually converts barbecue enjoyment into providing therapy, as well as other services.

The seventh annual Smokin’ Out Child Abuse event is Tuesday, April 30, at Magnolia Blues BBQ Company. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The annual event raises funds for the Southwest Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center, with all proceeds from 3 p.m. until close going to the organization. Live music will be provided by Brookhaven pianist, singer and entertainer Blake Scafidel.

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The SW MS CAC is a non-profit agency that provides a variety of services under one umbrella to childhood victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect in local communities at no cost to them. The CAC serves Lincoln, Copiah, Pike, Amite and Walthall counties. Funds raised from the Smokin’ Out event will help cover therapy costs for children in Lincoln County.

Magnolia Blues, located on South Whitworth Avenue in Brookhaven, is owned by Carl and Anne Craig. Anne is a licensed therapist who works with SW MS CAC. The organization conducts forensic interviews, provides therapy for victims and their families, advocacy services, and educational opportunities for local schools. Craig and other therapists work with law enforcement, Department of Child Protective Services, prosecutors and attorneys to ensure that the children who need their services don’t fall through the cracks.

“It’s free of charge,” Craig said. “Families never pay for any services that we provide.”