One hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.
- Forest E. Witcraft

Who We Are

About Safe Harbor CAC

Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation charted with the State of Tennessee on September 1, 2005 to serve the 4th Judicial District, consisting of Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson & Sevier Counties.  Safe Harbor was established by a group of impassioned individuals to provide the coordination of necessary services in a child-focused and child-friendly home-like setting for our most vulnerable victimized citizens . . . our children.

Regretfully, in most cases, children have been abused by family members or people their family members knew and trusted. Working with law enforcement, Child Protective Services, specially trained medical and mental health providers and our District Attorney General’s Office, our goal is to make the process gentler and less traumatic for our children who have suffered so much.

Safe Harbor CAC brings the investigative team to the child in a warm, and welcoming environment where the child feels comfortable and safe to help minimize the trauma and to maximize the opportunities for healing and protection.


Donna J. Koester, Executive Director

Donna brings with her years of experience from both the public and private sectors. She began her career in the education field as an art teacher at Edward Drummond Libbey High School, an inner city school in Toledo, OH, for roughly four years. She then ventured into the private sector as co-owner/operator of Unicorn Florist and Art Studio in Genoa, OH. Upon moving to East Tennessee, Donna served as the interim guidance counselor at Gatlinburg Pittman High School for the spring term in 1975. The two following years, she helped establish the Art Program, while serving as the Art Instructor at Sevier County High School. From 1975 to 1976, Donna served as co-chair of the Sevier County Bicentennial Art Committee. The following year, she opened Koester & Associates, a graphics design and advertising firm serving local and national clientele. In 1982, she served as publicity director for two different clients on-site at the World's Fair in Knoxville, TN, The Crafts Fair (now the Candy Factory Arts Center) and the Fine Arts Pavilion. The following year, she established the Chardonai Corporation in Sevierville, TN.

Some of Donna's more recent accomplishments include a period of service from 2003-2005 on the Citizen's Policy Plan Taskforce for the Charting the Course: Sevierville 2020. Also beginning in 2003, she began serving on the Sevier County Foster Care Review Board. From 2004 to 2006, Donna also served as the program director for the Smoky Mountain Youth Leadership program. Donna is also a graduate of Leadership Sevier's Class of 2005.

Staff at Safe Harbor

Executive Director - Donna J. Koester
Executive Assistant - Laura Boling
Forensic Interviewer - Jenny Stith
Clinical Director - Rose Gainey
Child & Family Advocate - Allison Jenkins
Community Outreach & Prevention
Education (COPE) Coordinator - Renee Poole

Founding Board Members

  • Donna J. Koester
  • Barry Fain
  • Connie Ball
  • Marian Oates
  • Jennifer Shelton
  • Arthur “Milo” Bohanan

Board of Directors

  • Steve Lane, President
  • Laurie Converse, Vice President
  • Sherri Crawford, Secretary
  • Cindy Morton, Treasurer
  • Linda Bozeman
  • Vicky Murrell
  • Al Schmutzer
  • Vicki Sims
  • Nancy Winter
  • Patricia Bible
  • Kati Blalock

Last Updated on Friday, 13 November 2015 18:16

Professional Advisors

  • James B. Dunn - District Attorney General (4th Judicial District)
  • State Senator Doug Overbey
  • State Rep. Dale Carr
  • Dr. Patricia Ketterman - LeConte Medical Center
  • Charles Poole, Esq., Attorney at Law
  • Dr. Marymer Perales, East TN Children's Hospital
  • Carolyn Berryhill - Professional Grant Writer
  • David Ogle, Five Oaks Development
  • Dr. William Blevins - Family Enrichment Inst., C-N College Retire
  • Lee Wertheim, CPA
  • R.B. Summitt, Finance
  • Steve Lane, Real Estate


Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 18:42