ELKINS - The Randolph-Tucker Children's Advocacy Center will host the third annual "Champions for Children" event Friday at Orchard Hall in Elkins.
The social hour will begin with appetizers at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.
"April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children," said Randolph-Tucker CAC Executive Director Lydia Johnson. "Everyone's participation is critical. Finding ways we can work together to identify and support children and families who are struggling is everyone's responsibility. I am so impressed by the good work that is being done here in both Randolph and Tucker counties. The Champions for Children event is our opportunity to recognize that good work and have a good time while we're doing it, too!"
CAC Executive Director Lydia Johnson congratulates 2014 Champions for Children Professional Award winner, Peggy Johnson
The evening will provide a popular dinner of spaghetti and meatballs prepared by the famously talented men and women of St. Patrick's Church of Coalton. Attendees will be serenaded with the tunes of singer, songwriter and banjo player Chelsea McBee, followed by dancing by the children of the local Highland Dance team.
After dinner, the Children's Advocacy Center will honor our local champions by recognizing individuals and businesses in three award categories: Professional, Community Partners and Samaritans.
At the heart of the Champions for Children event is the celebration of the remarkable achievements of professionals, volunteers, individuals, and organizations in our communities who have contributed to the efforts of the Randolph-Tucker CAC and their partners to serve our most vulnerable citizens, the children in Randolph and Tucker counties. Children's Advocacy Centers across the country provide a child-friendly setting where abused children can talk about their experiences.
The centers provide coordination of the initial investigation and ongoing support, treatment, and advocacy at no cost to the families, working closely with professionals in law enforcement, child protection, mental health, and medical care. Our local non-profit Children's Advocacy Center began in 2003 and would not have been possible without community support. This event recognizes the critical impact others have on continuing the work of the CAC and being champions for children.
This year's Professional Award will be presented to Peggy Johnson, trauma center director at Youth Health Services, Inc. and a member of the Randolph County Multi-Disciplinary Team.
Tucker County Schools, Randolph County Schools, and the Tucker County Juvenile Probation Office will be honored as Community Partners.
The Randolph-Tucker CAC will announce the winners of the Samaritan awards on the night of the event, adding to the element of surprise.
Officials will round out the night with a live auction featuring generously donated items from many local artists, individuals and businesses. As in the past two years, this year's auction promises to be full of treasures and fun-filled competition.
The public is encouraged to attend and children are welcome. Get your tickets or make a donation to the event online at www.rtcac.com/champion2014, or contact the CAC office to make a reservation by calling 304-630-2214.
For more information, please visit www.rtcac.com.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, the Randolph-Tucker Children's Advocacy Center encourages all individuals and organizations to take an active role in making our local community a better place for children and families. By ensuring that children are able to find help and heal from abuse, we can promote children's social and emotional well-being and prevent further child maltreatment and trauma within families and communities.
CACs nationwide have committed not only to providing intervention services, but also stopping abuse before it starts. In 2013 alone, Randolph-Tucker CAC provided child sexual abuse prevention education to more than 984 individuals - adults and children. RTCAC is fully committed to continuing this work, helping to educate and raise awareness so communities can break the cycle of abuse.