Luau has been lifesaver for infants

Showing their support for Secret Safe Place at the 2010 Luau are, from left, Shawna McCord, Dawn Herring, Lisa Young, Shannon McCloud, Chris Wolford, Vallie Collins, Delaine Bennett and Nichole McCord.

Showing their support for Secret Safe Place at the 2010 Luau are, from left, Shawna McCord, Dawn Herring, Lisa Young, Shannon McCloud, Chris Wolford, Vallie Collins, Delaine Bennett and Nichole McCord.

More than a kindergarten class. That’s how many babies have been saved in 10 years since the Safe Haven Law has been a part of the Tennessee landscape.

Shannon McCloud, executive director of A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee, said 36 children have been surrendered to be placed in protective care since the law came into effect 10 years ago.

“We only have statistics for (infant) surrenders for the last seven years, and we know at least 36 babies have been saved,” she said. “That’s lot of little babies -- more than a kindergarten classroom of babies. We’re very proud of that number.”

A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee will host its annual Lifesaver Luau at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, at The Beach at Court South on Alcoa Highway.

The luau will feature food from Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q, hula dancing, swimming, music, pool games, limbo and a silent auction. “We will have a lot of good silent auction items,” McCloud said.

This is the seventh annual Lifesaver Luau, and McCloud said it has become a community event folks look forward to each year.

“It is a very kid-friendly event. Families come and bring kids and relax and have a good time,” she said. “We always appreciate the community support, and we look forward to this event. It is a lot of fun to put on. I encourage everybody to come out and beat the heat and have some fun.”

McCloud said they hope to raise $10,000. “We use all the funds we raise to educate the public about the Safe Haven law,” she said.

McCloud said funds are used to purchase advertising in print, radio, television and even posters in restrooms in businesses throughout the state.

Adult tickets are $15, child tickets are $5 and kids 2 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q and Blount Today or by calling 865-254-2208 or online at secretsafeplacetn.org/luau. Hawaiian dress is welcomed and encouraged at this family-friendly event. All proceeds will benefit A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee. The event will take place rain or shine.

Featured sponsors for the event include Court South, Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q, GoTeez, B97.5, Print Edge, Knoxville News Sentinel, Campbell Tent & Party Rentals, Blount Today, WBIR-TV and Designsensory.

A Secret Safe Place for Newborns was founded in 2001 with the passage of the Safe Haven Law after an abandoned newborn died of severe dehydration in Townsend. The law protects mothers who are unwilling or unable to care for their newborns by allowing them to surrender their babies to any hospital, community health clinic, birthing center, walk-in clinic, EMS facility or 24-hour fire or police station within 72 hours of the newborn’s birth.

For more information on A Secret Safe Place for Newborns, its efforts or the Lifesaver Luau, call 865-254-2208 or visit www.secretsafeplacetn.org.

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