This July, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) held its 17th annual Through a Child’s Eyes (TACE) carnival event. TACE events allow adults in custody (AICs) to invite their children–and now grandchildren–for a day of fun and family connection. The event is sponspored by the Wilsonville Rotary Club and included face painting, balloons, tasty food, and all sorts of games and activities. The puppies from CCCF’s Puppy Program even attended the event, and kids who attended got to practice brushing puppy teeth! What a unique opportunity!
This year was of particular significance to Coffee Creek, since the event’s co-founders, John Ludlow and Doris Wehler, are retiring. John shared the special story of how TACE was born through the Wilsonville Rotary Club. 17 years ago, John brought a proposal to the Superintendent of Coffee Creek with the intention of providing caregivers with a break from their duties and supporting the connection between children and their incarcerated parents. Since that time, John has reached out to the community to fund-raise each year, and Doris has ordered supplies and organized the event.
John says his favorite part of the day is watching child and parent connect and interact, witnessing displays of unconditional love, and seeing the hope that family gives to AICs. For Doris, she looks forward to seeing all the pieces fall into place as donors, volunteers, staff, and AICs work together to make this event a success.
Although they are retiring, Doris and John plan to continue working in the background of TACE events to ensure there are many years of family connection and love yet to come.