Nutcracker Tea Raises Money for Children’s Justice Center

The Wasatch Dance Center Foundation’s Nutcracker Tea was held December 35 as a fundraiser for the Children’s Justice Center (CJC). The foundation normally puts on several benefit performances of the Nutcracker each December. They brought in $14,500 for the CJC in 2019. This year, the full-length show was unable to be performed because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Instead, the Nutcracker Tea became a bigger, more involved production, with Zermatt Resort donating their Bernese Event Center. The group performed a 35-minute Nutcracker ballet with narration. The Nutcracker Tea also included sweets and a fun Christmas atmosphere for the four performances. Approximately 800 people attended.

Accommodations were made at the event to protect against Covid-19. Tables were spaced apart, and patrons were able to purchase seating for an entire table to keep familiar groups together.

Several sponsors participated in staging the event, including Lee’s, Kneaders, Suss Cookies, and Spin Café, along with many others. “We’re so grateful for the sponsors to be able to make it happen like it did,” said parent volunteer Corine Cook. “The community came through for us and helped us make it pretty awesome. This year’s event raised even more money than usual for the Wasatch County CJC.

The Children’s Justice Center is a child-friendly interviewing facility set aside for abused or otherwise mistreated children. Interviews are recorded and given to law enforcement and child protection workers. Referrals are made for follow-up services. Aid is also considered for those in need of aftercare services.

According to Kenna Jones, Director of the Wasatch County CJC, “It’s just a team effort to help the kids through that process. . . . It’s a one-time thing, where everyone comes to the child, instead of the child going a whole bunch of places to relive the trauma.” Last year, the CJC interviewed about 100 children. Currently this year, about 160 cases have already been processed through the Wasatch County center.

The Children’s Justice Center cancelled their popular gingerbread fundraiser this year. However, in addition to the Nutcracker Tea donations, the center also received a grant from the Heber City CARES funds to help with operating costs for this year.