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Prevent Child Abuse Rowan to expand building

Prevent Child Abuse

Sheriff Kevin Auten received The Kathleen Russo Friend of a Child Award from Prevent Child Abuse Rowan.

By Susan Shinn Turner

For the Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — The Terrie Hess House is expanding.

The home of Prevent Child Abuse Rowan, 130 Woodson St., will gain a 1,600-square-foot addition, to include a board room-community education room, three offices and a therapy suite.

A fundraising campaign for the project will begin this fall, according to Beth Moore McKeithan, who announced the news at the agency’s annual community brunch last month.

“We’ve just grown so much,” McKeithan said. “We need to provide more educational and community awareness programming without interrupting our day-to-day services.”

Those services include conducting forensic interviews and therapy sessions with local children who have been abused. The existing 2,000-square-foot building will also get renovations and updates, McKeithan said.

“We want the addition to be economical and energy-efficient,” she said. “I’ve been told we need to ‘shoot for the moon,’ but we’re used to taking $5 and stretching it as far as we can.”

McKeithan hopes to start construction by the end of the year, and the addition should take about nine months to complete, she said. Pete Bogle is the architect for the project.

McKeithan said the agency continues to see an increase in cases each year, but she attributes that mainly to the credibility PCAR has gained in the community and in the relationships it has built.

In 2016, the agency served 210 families. By the end of April, PCAR had handled 82 cases this year.

“We are growing in a good way,” she says. “Our programming is growing, and that’s a good thing.”

At the annual meeting, McKeithan announced two grants that PCAR has received: a $22,500 grant from the Woodson Foundation for Stop-Go-Tell supplies (the agency’s program for schoolchildren in first and fifth grades) and for multidisciplinary team training; and a $20,000 grant from the Robertson Family Foundation for a therapist who works with underinsured families.

The agency presented the following awards:

  • The Community Organization Award: Rowan County Department of Social Services.
  • The Kathleen Russo Friend of a Child Award: Sheriff Kevin Auten.
  • The President’s Award: Detective Ryan Barkley of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

Local sponsors for the annual meeting included The Forum, Blast It All, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, and Bradshaw Bail and Bonding. Community partners who support Prevent Child Abuse Rowan throughout the year include College BBQ, The Cleaning Authority, South Main Bookstore, and Mambo Grill.

For more information about Prevent Child Abuse Rowan, visit preventchildabuserowan.org.

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