Etcetera - 04/08/10

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This year's Relay for Hope: Walk Away Child Abuse shines a spotlight on the Home Team of Children's Home Society of Washington, said Kelly Bray, marketing communications manager with Relay for Hope.

The Relay will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Borleske Stadium.

Those who are registered may walk by themselves or form teams. Registration forms are available now through Children's Home Society or at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Family Education booths, food, a prize raffle and a special free Kids Olympics will be on site the day of the event.

The Home Team Parent Aid Program is a partnership between the Exchange Club of Walla Walla and Children's Home Society of Washington. All proceeds will benefit local families who need mentors to encourage positive parenting skills.

Registration fees are just $10 for individuals and $20 for families. Registered walkers receive a T-shirt, water bottle and a chance to earn raffle tickets. Registration fee for an individual is $10; family entry is $20.

There will be $3 hot dogs and chips and soda will also available. There will be Family Education Booths and free Kid Olympics from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Friends of Children of Walla Walla Family Game Day runs from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Registration is not required for these events.

Contact contact Stephanie Biegel at 509-529-2130 or Debi at 529-2130.

Children's Home Society of Washington is sponsoring the local event to support the prevention of child abuse.

Last year in Walla Walla, there were 892 cases of reported child abuse; 319 of the cases required investigation and 116 cases required some level of intervention from Child Protective Services.

Local CPS Supervisor Rory Schilling reports an alarming increase in child abuse referrals and receiving a record-breaking amount of referrals over the last couple of months. Prevention is critical to reduce these devastating statistics.

"We are excited about our seven-year partnership with Exchange Club and our ability to support families in our community through the HomeTeam program, " said Stephanie Biegel, CHSW clinical specialist.

"This united effort supports the shaping of healthy parenting strategies, raising awareness on child abuse prevention, and hopefully - decreasing the cases of child abuse in our community."

Last year in Walla Walla, more than 800 children and families were helped through early learning, counseling, family support, and mentoring programs. For more information, visit www.childrenshomesociety.org.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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