By Steve Svetovich
A group of Dunmore High School seniors received recognition for their volunteer service work in holding a fundraiser last December to help the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeast PA.
Mary Ann LaPorta is executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeast PA, 1710 Mulberry St., Scranton.
The Dunmore senior class officers who held the fundraiser during a basketball tournament in December were Nick Stanco, Mia Chiaro, Madilyn Cianci, Charles Valvano, Katie Hilson and Bell Pendon.
The Dunmore High School senior class officers’ fundraiser last December to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA was called “Silent Night 2019.”
Students were asked to bring teddy bears to the basketball game for the children of the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA. The event collected 450 teddy bears and $350 in donations, said Rosemary Bohenek, fundraising and event coordinator for the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA named the six Dunmore graduates, all who were senior class officers, as Youth Ambassadors of the Year for Cocktails by Moonlight. The event to honor the six Dunmore seniors was supposed to be held this past April 5 at Fiorelli’s, Peckville, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Bohenek.
“Due to COVID, the event did not happen,” said Bohenek. “We have been unable to honor them and Dunmore High School. And they deserve to be honored for their volunteer work.
“However, we nominated these Dunmore students as Youth Ambassadors for 2020 for their service work in 2019.
“The Dunmore community responded so well at the basketball game when the event was held. The kids were so great to deal with. They were so enthusiastic. The teddy bears were thrown onto the basketball court for the children. And $350 in donations were collected at the game. The Dunmore community really took part in this to help the Children’s Advocacy Center.”
The Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA, a non profit child abuse intervention center, began in 1998 through the work of Judge Michael Barrasse who decided children needed a different avenue to tell their stories of abuse and neglect. Previously, abused children had to go through multiple professionals and the court system and face their abuser after initiating allegations of abuse, said Bohenek.
Through the Children’s Advocacy Center, a child can now tell his or her story of abuse to one initial contact, said Bohenek. It then goes through a National Data Base and Children and Youth Services and then to the Children’s Advocacy Center, added Bohenek.
“The child’s story is admissible in a court of law and the child never has to face the perpetrator.
“It makes it much easier and less threatening for a child to report abuse. It goes right through us and just one initial contact.”
Bohenek said the six Dunmore seniors, Dunmore High School and Dunmore community should be commended for their efforts in helping the children of the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA.
“They really did a fantastic job. They were great.”