Officer Tommy Norman to headline third annual ACI fundraising banquet in Newport


Arkansas Center for Independence (ACI) has announced the non-profit organization will host its third annual ‘Building for the Future and Impacting Lives’ fundraising banquet, Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m.

The banquet will be held at Newport County Club with special guest/keynote speaker Officer Tommy Norman headlining the event.

Norman, a North Little Rock native, is a police officer who has taken social media by storm for his “Community Policing” approach to his work. His notoriety was gained throughout Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and has garnered television appearances on CNN, The Today Show, and, most recently, The Dr. Phil Show discussing topics about race relations in our nation.

“We are excited to have Officer Norman be our keynote speaker,” said Glenda Rutledge-May, ACI executive director. “I think he will do a great job speaking on the importance of being involved in your community. We are a little over half way to our goal of being able to build a new facility, but still have quite a bit of money to raise. We hope everyone will come out and help support this event.”

Officer Tommy Norman.JPGOfficer Tommy Norman / Image submitted

Throughout the evening an auction will be taking place along with a 50/50 jackpot drawing. The social hour begins at 5 p.m. The dinner will begin around 6 p.m., with Norman to begin the keynote address at approximately 7 p.m.

Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance and no later than Tuesday, Oct. 16. Individual tickets for the banquet can be purchased for $35 and reserved tables can be purchased for $350. Reserved tables include 8 seats per table with seating towards the front. Active duty police officers will receive a $5 discount on the ticket price with valid ID.

For those who purchase reserved tables, your contribution will also help send four clients from ACI to the event. Tickets can be purchased at More Old Treasures Thrift Store in Newport or by calling ACI (see below for the phone number).

Additional ticket information can also be found on the Arkansas Center for Independence Facebook page.

For more information, please contact ACI at (870) 523-8488 or email Nick Statler, ACI marketing director at

ACI, formerly known as the ‘Jackson County Learning Center’, is one of the oldest non-profits of its type in the state whose mission is to provide supports and services for adults with developmental disabilities such as Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Autism. The center’s building was built in 1959 and is now in disrepair. All money raised for this event will be used to benefit the building fund for a new facility.

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