By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer
Tonight’s art show benefit for Kids’ Space will let Muskogee give back to the area’s top child advocacy center.
The Art Olé Art Auction is Kids’ Space’s largest fundraiser of the year, said family and victim advocate Lindsey Groom. Money raised will help fund the center, which has served as a place to provide services for victims of abuse for more than 15 years.
More than 160 works of art, including several from well-known Muskogee portrait artist Gloria Schumann, will be up for auction tonight.
Schumann died in 2012 at the age of 91.
“We have so many great pieces of art to be auctioned off, there’s really all kinds of styles and things,” Groom said. “There’s going to be something there for everyone.”
Framed paintings, sculptures and photographs are among the items for auction.
Three area women are nominated for the 2013 Champion of Children Award. The award is given out to an area child advocate who “displays exemplary work ethic and passion in the area of child advocacy.”
“It’s designed to recognize people who are on the front lines of child abuse,” Groom said. “These people are all nominated by their peers.”
The nominees are for the award are:
• Tracy Murphy.
• Rebecca Williamson.
• Coletta Peyton.
Murphy, a forensic interviewer and investigator with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, said it was an honor to be nominated by her peers.
“It’s really great to be nominated, especially to be next to Coletta and Rebecca,” Murphy said.
Murphy will mark her second year with DHS in July after working with Kids’ Space for about four years while assistant director of Women In Safe Home.
Williamson has spent 13 years with Kids’ Space, and more than 10 years as a sexual assault nurse examiner.
“I was really surprised to be nominated. I was totally shocked,” Williamson said. “The people who nominated us are the people who really know what we do, what our jobs are, so it meant a lot.”
Peyton has been an investigator with the sheriff’s office for 5 1/2 years, working with Kids’ Space the entire time. She investigates all child crimes, sexual abuse and sex crimes with adults.
Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the second year the award, which is given to a person who displays exemplary work ethic and passion in the field of child advocacy, has been handed out.
2012: NIkki Baker, Muskogee County Assistant District Attorney.
2013 nominees: Coletta Peyton, Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office Investigator; Rebecca Williamson, Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service spokeswoman and sexual assault nurse examiner; Tracy Murphy, Department of Human Services investigator.
If you go
WHAT: Art Olé Art Auction and Dinner.
WHERE: Today, Three Forks Harbor River Event Center.
WHEN: 6:30 p.m.
ADMISSION: $35 suggested minimum donation.
ETC.: Event is open to the public, but space is limited.