Children's Advocacy Center raising money to repair building
Sexual abuse to children is "so unconscionable it is rendered inaudible" by folks who tend to disbelieve it happens, but alas, sexual abuse of children occurs in all our towns and apparently only one-third of the cases are reported.
What's worse than that statistic is that suburbanites don't know where to seek help and even fewer know the existence of the Children's Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County in Hoffman Estates, according to health care expert Penny Davis, who is on the board of directors of the advocacy center.
The former emergency room nurse at the now-closed St. Anne's Hospital in Chicago, and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, said the center, 640 Illinois Blvd., handles sexual abuse cases 365 days a year.
By the time a child is 18, one in three girls and one in five boys will be abused.
"We hear sordid stories of sexual abuse," Davis related. "I am amazed at how few people know about the center but maybe that's because people don't want to believe it (sexual abuse) exists especially in our communities.
"They think it happens elsewhere. It is so unconscionable it is rendered inaudible."
Susan Reedquist, the director of development, said the center was created in 1989 to provide support for traumatized child victims.
"Each year more than 600 children from the 38 communities in North and Northwest Cook County receive services at the center," Reedquist said, adding they provide free services to children and families.
After 26 years in the health care business, Davis struck out on her own two years ago after serving as corporate vice president of Alexian Brothers Hospital in Elk Grove Village. She relishes her volunteerism.
The advocacy center is housed in the 100-year-old Arthur Hammerstein residence, which is in major need of renovation. Davis said it will take more than $700,000.
In her position of vice president of fund development, Davis consented to take the chairmanship of a major fundraiser.
The dinner-dance, "Celebrating Our Past, Building Our Future" will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28 in The Stonegate Banquet and Conference Center, 2401 W. Higgins Road, Hoffman Estates.
The dinner dance, with cocktails, butler-served hors d'oeuvres, entree and dinner wine is the kickoff for the renovation's capital campaign. The Night Fall Band will play music for dancing.
Tickets for the black-tie optional gala are $150. The reservation deadline is Monday, Feb. 23. Call Davis or Reedquist at (847) 885-0100.
The top prize for the raffle is a seven-night package for two at a Cancun or Riviera Maya resort in Mexico. Airfare and a four-day hotel stay at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel is the second prize.
Raffle tickets are $25 each or five for $100. Some of the silent auction prizes are golf packages, a two-day weekend stay at Wisconsin's Delavan Lake Resort and restaurant, museum and comedy club gift certificates.
Davis, the former emergency room nurse, says she believes the entire community is responsible for children's safety and well being.
"It is our responsibility to take care of kids, especially those who can't speak for themselves," Davis said.