Good news for abuse preventionPublished 10:22pm Friday, March 29, 2013
It wasn’t just any engagement party for a young couple from the area.
Allison Perry and Ryan Gilbreath raised $2,000 at their casino night party hosted at Perry’s father’s home in Suffolk. The money will be donated to Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, where Perry works.
About 80 people attended the party, and several area businesses donated prizes for the games.
“It really felt good that we were doing something to pay it forward,” Perry told a reporter recently. “Nobody likes to talk about child abuse, but it does exist in our community.”
Child abuse is an ongoing problem in the area. Recently released statistics show a troubling increase in abuse and neglect in Hampton Roads for the last year.
Nationally, the concerning trend is no different. In 2010, more than five children died every day because of child abuse and neglect, compared to three per day in 1998. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.
The consequences are dire. In some cases, the results are tragically fatal. Children who survive have higher risk of psychological disorders, committing crimes, experiencing teen pregnancy, abusing alcohol or drugs and other destructive habits.
The good news is that there are a couple of opportunities for local folks to support organizations fighting child abuse and neglect.
Today, Saturday, Perry and Gilbreath will be planting pinwheels, the symbol of child abuse awareness, at Sleepy Hole Park from noon to 2 p.m.
In addition, Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads is holding its 31st annual Child Abuse Prevention Celebrity Night on April 4 at Cedar Point Country Club. Local media, political and entertainment celebrities will serve guests, and celebrity tips and a percentage of restaurant receipts will be donated to the cause.
Find more information on the Celebrity Night at www.pcahr.org.