Cherish God’s Children, a Ponte Vedra-based foundation that supports Florida Baptist Children’s Home, is holding a hoedown-style fundraiser this weekend at a cabin in Palm Valley.
To be held Saturday, Dec. 1, the event is the third annual fundraiser for the organization and will be hosted by Jack and Patty Billingsley on a 4-acre plot of land on Wildnerness Trail known as “El Sueno,” or “The Dream.” The event will feature a low country boil.
“Not only is it a fundraiser, but (the purpose) is to create an awareness of the orphans in Jacksonville,” said Jayne Doherty, the chair of Cherish God’s Children. “Most people don’t even know we have an orphanage here.”
Florida Baptist Children’s Homes provides safe, stable, Christian homes and services to children and families in need across the state and globe. The Jacksonville campus located at 2300 Bartram Road provides housing for 24 children ranging in age from newborns to teenagers and offers residential care, foster care, adoption services, transition to independent living, maternity care counseling and more.
According to Doherty, the Jacksonville campus’ roots derive from the efforts of Solomon J. Highsmith, a member of the Main Street Baptist Church who founded the Jacksonville Baptist Home for Children in 1926. The Baptist Home for Children later joined the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes organization in January 1999. Doherty said it is a Christian home but no longer affiliated with the Baptist Church.
After visiting the Jacksonville campus’ McGowan house in 2015, Doherty realized the organization didn’t have a presence in Ponte Vedra, so she founded Cherish God’s Children, which donates 100 percent of its proceeds to Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. Doherty held the organization’s first fundraiser in 2016.
Helping Doherty with this year’s fundraiser are Justin and Mary Beth Clark and their four sons, Donna Harmon and her family, Vita Blasi, Ann McCracken and Ann Dutcher, among others.
“They are the nuts and bolts of the committee,” Doherty said.
For more information about the event and to inquire about tickets, visit Village Arts at Sawgrass Village in Ponte Vedra Beach.