CHILDHELP USA TO RAISE AWARENESS OF CHILD ABUSE; EVENTS INCLUDE KENNEDY CENTER GALA, CONGRESSIONAL AWARDS LUNCHEON, AND SENATE HEARING
Celebrities, 39 U.S. senators, top corporate executives and other notables will assemble to raise awareness of child abuse and attend a gala benefit, "Honoring Those Who Help Children and Families Succeed," to be held at the Kennedy Center/Concert Hall in Washington on April 27, Childhelp USA said. The event, held during Child Abuse Prevention Month (April), will be chaired by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and will celebrate the 35th anniversary of one of the nation's leading organizations working to combat child abuse and neglect, Childhelp USA.
The Childhelp USA gala, hosted by masters of ceremonies Kathleen Turner and Dennis Quaid, will feature performances by Judy Collins, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rich Little and other talented stars. Joe Gibbs, former Redskins coach who founded a Washington-area program for troubled boys, is among those receiving honors. The gala will be co-hosted by Childhelp USA founders, Sarah O'Meara Sigholtz and Yvonne Lime Fedderson. Proceeds from the gala will be used to expand treatment opportunities for victims of child abuse.
Members of the U.S. Senate Gala Honorary Host Committee include Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Frank H. Murkowski (R-Alaska), Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), Howell Heflin (D-Ala.), Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), Connie Mack (R-Fla.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.), Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-Kan.), John Glenn (D-Ohio), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), Chuck Robb (D-Va.), Paul Simon (D-Ill.), John W. Warner (R-Va.) and Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).
5th Annual Childhelp Congressional Awards Luncheon:
The 5th Annual Childhelp Congressional Awards Luncheon, hosted by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), will honor individuals and organizations who are helping children and families succeed. Honorees include Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.); publishing executive Frances Lear; Dr. Astrid Heger, an internationally recognized expert on the medical diagnosis of child abuse and neglect; Andrew Vachss, child advocate and former New York City District Attorney; and Desiray Bartok, a 13-year-old survivor of child abuse, as well as several others. The luncheon will also honor 101 executives of companies from all 50 states and Washington, whose companies have created special humanitarian programs to help children and their families succeed. The honorees were selected by U.S. senators and Childhelp USA.
Senate Hearing on Child Abuse:
The Labor and Human Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Children, Families and Alcoholism will hold a congressional hearing on emerging issues in the area of child abuse. Childhelp USA representatives Turner and Quaid, along with Childhelp Adult Survivors Program Administrator Sue Meier, will testify at the hearing, chaired by Kassebaum and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.).
Gala Fundraising Event:
Funds generated by the evening gala will support the construction of a new 16-bed cottage at the Alice Tyler Village of Childhelp East Serving Children and the Environment, located in Culpeper County, Va.
The nationally recognized village, which opened last year, treats abused and neglected boys and girls aged 2 through 12 who have been removed from their parents by the court system. The village offers individual treatment plans including regular sessions with psychologists and therapists and an array of specialized programs designed to build self-confidence and self-esteem.
"The Alice C. Tyler Village of Childhelp East is a refuge for children who have suffered severe abuse and who are so damaged that they can no longer function successfully in an unsupervised environment," explains Michael Caplin, director of Childhelp USA's East Coast office in Washington. "After a stay in the village, which averages 18 months, most of these children are able to return to their parents or be placed in foster homes or with adoptive families. Unfortunately we are now at full capacity and must turn away many children in need. This expansion will enable us to serve many more children in distress."
Childhelp USA was founded in 1959 by O'Meara Sigholtz and Lime Fedderson, and is a leader in the field of child abuse prevention and treatment. It operates the National Child Abuse Hotline (800-4-A-CHILD), as well as residential treatment villages, teen and adult survivor abuse counseling programs, training for child care workers and foster parents, and education and advocacy initiatives.
Contact: Reid Walker or Jeanie Ryan, Childhelp USA