Organizers of a fundraiser to support child victims of sexual abuse invite the community to “Make a MOVEment,” from 8:45 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 27, in Great Bend.
Participants will be on the move for an hour after bringing a new stuffed animal or blanket for a child to the starting place at 8:45 a.m., said Sarah Schenek at the Child Advocacy Center. The starting place varies depending on the activity chosen, but there’s a collaborative finish at the Barton County Courthouse Square, with more events going on, including a drawing for more than $15,000 in prizes around 10:30 a.m.
The goals of Make a MOVEment are to raise awareness and to help the Child Advocacy Center provide continued services to children and their families. Individuals may participate with the activity of choice:
• Those with motorcycles and automobiles will meet in front of the Great Bend-Brit Spaugh Zoo.
• Bicyclists will meet at the south side of the courthouse square.
• Walkers and runners will meet at the north side of the square.
• River riders in jeeps and all-terrain vehicles will meet at Stone Lake. For river riders, rides will be provided to the courthouse at 9:55 a.m., and returning to Stone Lake at 11:45 a.m.
Whatever group they join, participants will learn some facts about child abuse along the way, Schenek said.
The Child Advocacy Center opened its doors at 1924 Broadway Ave. last November, as a division of the Family Crisis Center. Within six months, Schenek said, this non-profit organization has served more than 70 children. More than 85 percent of those are from Barton County, but they also serve Pawnee County and other areas by request.
As participants gather at the courthouse square, there will be some family friendly fun and activities, Schenek said. There will be music by country singer Jake Gill, three bounce houses, face painting, cotton candy, medieval entertainment and awareness information. “Also, the city Sidewalk Sale will be going on at the same time.”
The drawing for donated prizes is set for 10:30 a.m., although ticket holders don’t have to be present to win.
The CAC has worked with local businesses to host this event. The drawing is for 30 big-ticket prizes, each valued at $500 or more. The number of tickets available is limited to 1,000. The suggested donation is $50 per ticket. They are available at the Family Crisis Center, as well as The Buckle, Bass-X Autosounds, Beautiful Beginnings and Farmers Bank and Trust, or contact Crystal Schroeder, CAC board member and volunteer, by calling 620-617-4293.
For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, call Schenek at the CAC, 620-603-6515.
About the CAC
The Dell Hayden Memorial Child Advocacy Center follows a model used nationwide to provide advocacy and services to children and their families affected by child abuse. Trained interviewers such as Schenek find the least traumatic way to gather information from young victims.
“Evidence is collected from the mind and body,” she said. Through an interagency agreement, information is shared by law enforcement, mental health, the Department for Children and Families and the county attorney’s office, all working together for the best interest of the child.
While this leads to more criminal prosecutions for sexual offenses against children, Schenek said, “Our success is not based on our prosecution rate.” Rather, success lies in giving young victims a voice and the opportunity to be heard. “We want the child and families to thrive and move on from these events.”