First Lady Kristin Cooper joins the Junior League of Raleigh awards N.C. Governor’s Inaugural Ball funds to SAFEchild

Raleigh | May 10, 2017:

The Junior League of Raleigh on Tuesday awarded $100,000 in proceeds from the 2017 N.C. Governor’s Inaugural Ball to SAFEchild to help end child abuse in Wake County.

The funds will be used to help SAFEchild, Wake County’s only child-abuse prevention agency, expand the number of children it serves at its Advocacy Center.

The gift, which is the largest amount the Junior League of Raleigh has given since 2002, shows the League’s continued commitment to ending child abuse in Wake County. The Raleigh League founded SAFEchild nearly 25 years ago using proceeds from the 1993 N.C. Governor’s Inaugural Ball. SAFEchild became financially independent from the Junior League in just three years, yet many Junior League members continue to support SAFEchild as volunteers, from serving on its board of directors to working directly with children at SAFEchild programs.

“We have been proud to be a part of SAFEchild and its mission since the beginning,” said Rebecca Ayers, president of the Junior League of Raleigh. “Through our League members’ countless volunteer hours, we see the direct impact SAFEchild has on local families. We hope funds from Governor Cooper’s Inaugural Ball will help further the goal of assuring every child has the right to grow in an environment free from abuse and neglect.”

North Carolina’s first lady Kristin Cooper joined Ayers in presenting the gift to Cristin DeRonja, SAFEchild’s executive director. Mrs. Cooper recently visited the SAFEchild Advocacy Center to gain a deeper understanding of the valuable work this organization does in our community.

“It is so important to continue to invest in our community to improve the lives and well-being of children across Wake County. SAFEchild embodies this priority and we are thankful for their continued support and advocacy,” Kristin Cooper said.

SAFEchild supports more than 7,500 children and 1,00o parents annually through its six parenting programs, the SAFEchild Advocacy Center and its Funny Tummy Feelings program serving 1st-graders throughout Wake County.

“We are thrilled to have received this generous donation from the Junior League of Raleigh,” DeRonja said. “We appreciate the ongoing support and dedication of the Junior League and the impact its members have on our ability to carry out our mission to eliminate child abuse in Wake County.”

The gift was made possible because of proceeds from the N.C. Governor’s Inaugural Ball, which was held in January to honor and celebrate the newly elected governor, Gov. Roy Cooper, and the state of North Carolina. Since the 1930s, the Junior League of Raleigh has been raising money for agencies and causes impacting at-risk children and women in our community by hosting the N.C. Governor’s Inaugural Ball. To learn more about the Junior League of Raleigh and its work with SAFEchild visit


About the Junior League of Raleigh

The Junior League of Raleigh is the local chapter of the Association of Junior Leagues International, an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The Junior League reaches out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an