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Every year hundreds of sponsors and donors, bowlers and supporters combine their good will in support of Bowl Against Abuse, the Children's Advocacy Center's annual child abuse and neglect awareness fundraiser.
This year's event at Kent Lanes broke several records. A total of $45,000 was raised through the generosity of hundreds of people. Lucy Wagener, executive director of the Center, said, "I am so astounded by this result!
This year more teams participated than in any other year. The money raised by the teams, the sponsors, supporters, and raffles totaled more than was ever raised in the 19 years that we have been doing this."
The 70 teams (328 bowlers) gathered donations and came to the event to enjoy each other's company and to have fun in support of a good cause. They combined their contributions with those of the 65 sponsors and supporters and the dozens of individuals and groups who donated 64 baskets and other items to the raffle. Many come to the event just to test their luck in winning one of the baskets or the coveted Myrtle Beach condo raffle.
The Center serves children referred for concerns of sexual abuse and provides community education and prevention activities. "This fundraiser is a critical part of our budget," said Wagener.
Accomplishing the Center's mission of improving the community's response to child abuse depends on its partnership with the community, a partnership which includes professionals from multiple disciplines, as well other community people who offer support to the program.
Premier Event Sponsors were the Jo Woodward Solem Memorial Foundation and the Burbick Foundation.
Gold Sponsors: Hall-Green Agency/Grange Insurance, and Sketch Studio of Kent.
Silver Sponsor: Walmart Store 2506;
Bronze Sponsors: Kent Kiwanis Club, Judge Barb Oswick, Jack and Claudia Amrhein, Chad Murdock, Attorney at Law, Portage County Department of Job & Family Services, Family & Community Services, Kent Elastomer Products, Portage County Sheriff Detective Bureau, Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority, Portage County Police Chiefs Association, Painters & Allied Trades District Council 6, First Congregational Church of Freedom, Ametek; 47 Lane Sponsors and Supporters also contributed.
The top adult fundraising team: Windham United Methodist Church, followed by Portage County Department of Job & Family Services, Middlefield Banking Company, Portage County Juvenile Court, PARTA, and others.
The top youth fundraising team was Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent Lacrosse, followed by the Roosevelt High School Key Club, Davey Elementary, and Walls Elementary.
Anyone can report suspected child abuse or neglect by calling 330-296-2273, the child and elder abuse reporting hotline of the Portage County Department of Job & Family Services. To learn more about The Children's Advocacy Center, call 330-297-8838, visit www.childadvocacyportage.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.