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Lewes, Delaware
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May 2, 2003     Cape Gazette
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v 8 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May 2 Letters Continued from page 7 Mike, too, was sorry that he died. Mike has always been there for the Lewes communi- ty and knew all his customers very well. I would like to ask that whomever has the petition to keep Mike on the Lewes mute, that they would add my name to the list. I no longer live in Delaware, but still remem- ber Mike very well and sawhim every now and then when I came back to visit Lewes and am angry that after nine years, they are going to move him to a different route. My name is Tina Williams and I live in the De/metro area. T'ma Williams Washington, D.C. We must do our part to help prevent child abuse I once heard someone say that children are only 20 percent of our population, but they axe 100 percent of our future. It is crit- ical that each of us, and our social and po- litical institutions do all we can to assure those precious and vulnerable members of our community are safe. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is a good time for Delaware to take note of where we have made progress, and to consider what else we might do to assist our children. There are a number of re- sources and a lot of exciting news. The Children's Trust Fund, established in .1984, funds programs to prevent child abuse. Recently, the trust fund has support- ed a consortium of medical and social serv- ice providers to provide home visits and support to new parents. This program teaches parents about child development, discipline and patience, and alerts them to the resources available to them when they feel challenged by the demands of parent- ing. In 1996, I established the Attorney Gen- eral's Task Force on Child Victims, which brought together educators, child protec- tion workers, prosecutors, and nonprofit and community leaders to examine how we could better identify the children who were victims of crime, assess their needs and more promptly provide the intervention and treatment services they need. The task force report contained numerous recommenda- tions, most of which have become adopted by law- and policy-makers throughout Delaware. Those recommendations includ- ed proposals to train teachers and child pro- tection workers how to work together in the best interests of a child and to make changes in the laws to better protect chil- dren and to punish their abusers more se- verely. The Children's Advocacy Center reduces the stress placed on child victims in an in- vestigation by bringing together law en- forcement officers, prosecutors, and child protection workers who confer with a trained forensic interviewer before an inter- view is conducted. The child no longer has to undergo multiple interviews in multiple locations with multiple strangers. The Children'sAdvocacy Center now has child friendly locations in each county, and has made a tremendous improvement in our ability to successfully prosecute child vic- tim cases. The Delaware Child Protection Account- ability Commission, created in response to several crises in Delaware's child protec- tion agency, has been successful in advo- cating reforms in the practices of that agency, securing more and beater trained cue wor_e sml  fl fom care May 8, 2003 system into which many child victims find themselves. Companion to the creation of the commission was establishing the Office of Child Advocate, which provides legal advocacy to children who are parties to, or affected by, proceedings in court. Many at- torneys in Delaware volunteer to assist in that office's program. The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is a wonderful resource for children whose parents are involved in a custody dispute or who are alleged to be abused or neglected. Specially trained members of the community, like you, vol- unteer to befriend, learn about and assess the child's situation, and make recommen- dations to the court about what resolution they believe is in the child's beSt interest. At the outset, I did say April was Child Abuse Prevention Month, so why did I re- view services for child victims? Well, be- cause the statistics are startling. One in four victims of sexual abuse in Delaware is un- der the age of 9 years old. Currently, there are 1,076 cases pending in my office in- volving child victims; 45 of those victims are under 1 year old. Children are happier, healthier, stronger and more successful when they do not have to overcome the emotional and physical pain and stigma associated with their vic- timization. We need to do more. We need to show the courage and will to assure chil- dren's safety. Every day, children leave the emergency room, the classroom and the courtroom and return to homes where they are at serious risk. We need to say to par- ents who either cannot or will not parent their children that they cannot be entrusted with their future. And let me be clear. I am not referring to differences of opinion re- garding discipline practices. I am address- ing sexual abuse, scarring, scalding and ex- treme neglect. Sadly, we in law enforce- ment know  too well that type of conduct is all too common. Government is not the sole answer to this problem, and, indeed, should not be the pri- mary answer. You cannot pay a government caseworker enough to care more about your child that you do - whether that child is of your body, your family, your church or your community. And it is not just one child. These workers are trying to manage 30 or 40 small lives in crisis any given day. Each of us has to take personal responsibil- ity for the health and safety of the children we encounter. If each of us did, there would be far less for government to do. And collectively we can do more than any one of us alone. I call on the churches of Delaware to establish programs to men- tor, house, nurture and love the children in their community who need them. Provide love, support, tutoring or a stable home en- viroument to let your children grow strong. And yes, I did say: "stable home environ- ment" and "house." Newt Gingrich got run o of town for proposing orphanages. To- day, advocates call them "safe houses." Whatever you call them, children need a place to go, to be loved, to be safe. And the churches can help to provide that. Some in our communities may think "that is someone else's child, someone else's problem." In truth, that may not be the case at all. We have seen an increase in recent years in the incidence of violent crimes committed by minors. In all my years in prosecution, I have not met a hap- py child who committed a violent crime. Many children do foolish things growing up and exercise poor judgment as they ma- ture, and some of the things they do get them in trouble with the law. But I do not know a happy child who commits a violent crime. What many times makes that child unhappy, angry, frustrated, confused, or lacking in self respect, is the victimization they have suffered. We all want our world to be safe; we want our property to be se- cure; we want the future to be brighter than today. Doing our part to help prevent child abuse will help. Jane Brady Attorney general Cooperative preschool thanks Outback, community The Rehoboth Cooperative Preschool would like to send a big thank you to the Outback Stealouse for recently hosting a very successful fundraiser for us. Not only did they donate the place, but they also do- nated all the food and beverages. Although they are a part of a large franchise, the own- ers are local and have a small town outlook. The generosity in this community is amaz- ing and Outback is part of it. The company as a whole raises and donates thousands to charities each year. We are grateful that the Outback has chosen to give back to the community. We would also like to thank the Outback staff. They were wonderful to us. They worked very hard, some of them com- ing in on their day off. We had many com- pliments on the food and the atmosphere was fun. We really appreciate what you did for us. it was heartwarming to see so many fam- ily and friends come out and support us. Quite a few local businesses also showed their support and had a great lunch. Busi- nesses, to name a few, included Lingo Re- alty, RE/MAX Realty, Abizak's, Ocean Travel, Wash-n-Wag, Baybees Pediatrics, Liz Clalborne, Rehoboth library and Re- hobuth Elementary School. The Outback is not the only business that has been good to us. Apple Electric and R.V. McMabon have been very generous to the preschool, donating their time and ma- terials. They are very hardworking people and always do a great job. Thank you. Last but not least, we would like to thank all the parents, volunteers and teachers for making this such a success. Your hard work has paid off. Everyone should be proud of being a part in maintaining this wonderful preschool and touching a child's life. The Rehoboth Cooperative Preschool Rehoboth Beach Bowl for Kids Sake was huge success Strikes and spares were everywhere and plenty of wood was shattered at the Bowl for Kids events April 12. Lewes residents and business owners alike responded with great generosity to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Delaware's primary fundraising event. Locally, the activities were dis- placed from bowling at Midway to Mills- boro and Seaford lanes due to the roof col- lapse and ongoing repairs at the neighbor. hood facility. As a community, Lewes con- tributed checks and cash donations totaling $825. Local business contributors included the Buttery, Caf6 Azafran, Truitt Insurance Agency, Deanna's, Lewes Mobil, The Dairy Market, Lloyd's Market, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Bay Foot, LLC., The Figurehead and Chatelaine's. The kids, the program, and the "Bigs" thank you. I thank you, too. Your corn-. bined financial support will provide a more little fun and positive direction in the lives of a number of worthy children. If you would like to be a Big Brother or a Big Sis- ter, call the program at 856-2918 or, if you would like to contribute, please send your check to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, lib S. Bedford St., Georgetown, DE 19947. IAnda Biumner Lewes SDTHR appreciates support Southern Delaware Therapeutic Horse- back Riding (SDTHR) would like to thank all the companies and individuals who made the Sixth Annual Beach Ride and Walk a success. SDTHR is a not-for-profit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults with physical, mental and emotional needs. The funds raised enable the organization to cover the cost and care of the horses and fa- cility so we can continue to offer free les- sons to participants in the program. A special thanks to Cape Heulopen State' Park for hosting this year's Beach Ride & Walk. Thank you to all the riders and walk- ers that come from near and far to partici- pate in this year's event. We cannot thank you enough for your extraordinary efforts to raise money for SDTHR. your support allows us to provide service to individuals with autism, CP and MS just as an example. This event was sponsored by a number of generous companies that deserve a big thank you. They include All Tune and Lube of Milford; The Buttery; CK's Hair- port; Cokesbury Veterinary Services, P.A.; Domino's Pizza; Kids' Ketch; Rose & Crown Restaurant and Pub; and The Wood- en Indian. Thanks also to Casapulla's South, Dibonaventures, Donut & Bagel Ex- press and Pepsi Cola for the delicious food and drinks provided for the day. And last but never least, our heartfelt thanks to all of the volunteers who made this fun day run smoothly. From the people who picked up the tables and food to those who picked up after the horses - your com- mitment to this organization is inspiring. Our gratitude goes to board President Kerri Shelly, for a wonderful job organizing this event and to the Rehoboth Kiwanis for their continual help and support to SDTHR. We deeply appreciate everyone's contri- bution and devotion to this successful an- nual fundraiser for SDTHR. Southern Delaware Therapeutic Horseback Riding Thanks from Legion Post 5 I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in making the An- nual Good Friday Fish Dinner the sellout that it was. The American Legion Auxil- iary at Post 5 works very hard to make our fundraisers enjoyable. The food was deli- cious, the camaraderie was wonderful, and the kitchen staff made the process look easy. It ran like a weB-oiled machine. A big thank you to the commander for the use of the post home for the evening. Thank you to the Cape Gazette, "Coast Press" and Comcast Cable for the publicity and last, but not least, the patrons who helped make it the best Good Friday dinner yet. Paula Marie Hoilar American Legion Auxiliary Unit $ Vice President and publicity chairperson Operation Shoebox a success I would like to thank all the people in Sussex County for making Operation Shoe- box a huge success. The following individ- uals and groups made it possible for us to ship an entire van of items for our troops in Iraq: American Legion Post 17 regular and Ladies Auxiliary members - Lewes, Broad- kill VFW 6984 - Milton, VFW 7447 - Re- hoboth Beach, Sussex East Home Associa- tion - Lewes, Sussex County 4-H clubs and the University of Delaware - Georgetown Special thanks to Sharon and Paco Walsh for transporting all our many boxes up state to be shipped direct from Dover Air Base. Wendy Martin Lewes