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Prevent Child Abuse Rowan presents annual awards

By Mark Wineka
mark.wineka@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Prevent Child Abuse Rowan handed out awards Friday at its annual brunch at the Rowan Museum.

Executive Director Beth Moore McKeithan recognized Alena Hosch, a social worker with the Rowan County Department of Social Services, as recipient of the Kathleen Russo Friend of a Child Award.

“She truly, truly fights for these kids,” McKeithan said.

Incoming agency President Shawn Edman presented the President’s Award to Melissa Shue.

“This person gives more than 1,000% to this organization,” Edman said, describing her as a true hero.

The Volunteer Award went to Jessica Goodman of Salisbury Academy, and builder Chris Bradshaw of Bradshaw Construction accepted the Community Business Award on behalf of his company.

Bradshaw was the contractor for expansion of the Terrie Hess House. At last year’s brunch, PCAR announced a fundraising goal of $400,000 to add a community education room, three staff offices and a therapy suite.

To date, $380,000 has been raised and construction is almost complete. McKeithan said plans are in the works for an open house before the start of a new school year.

“Countless hours and conversations have been made to make this center just perfect for these children,” she added.

“At the Terrie Hess House, we work hard to collaborate with and support our local agencies working these tough abuse investigations and court cases. We exist to reduce trauma for the children and their families going through this process and ensure that families have proper supports in place to cope with traumas after the child abuse has occurred.”

The agency also offers free parenting support through Triple P, an evidence-based program made possible through partnerships with Smart Start and Communities in Schools of Rowan County.

April is Prevent Child Abuse Month. McKeithan said the organization’s goal throughout the year “is to educate the community on child abuse prevention, how to report suspected abuse and to increase awareness of the healing services and resources available to victims and their families.”

During the 2018 calendar year, Prevent Child Abuse Rowan served 219 children and their families.

“Our prevention program, with the support of the Rowan-Salisbury school system, continues to be an incredible success,” McKeithan said. “In the spirit of contribution and collaboration, this year, we are planning to offer this newly copyrighted program to all counties across the state free of charge.”

The agency has been promoting the display of pinwheel gardens around the county during April. The pinwheel “symbolizes the carefree spirit of great childhoods that all of our children deserve,” McKeithan said.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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