BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – To honor those whose efforts often go unrecognized in the pursuit to keep kids safe, a gala was held at the Tamarack Convention Center.
Just For Kids Child Advocacy Center was host to their annual Champions of Children Gala Friday evening.
Along with honoring the local heroes that make a difference towards the cause, the event was a way to support the advocacy center and its work in helping kids who are victims of abuse, as well.
“They’re the most vulnerable population that we have, adults to a certain extent can stand up for themselves, but kids are forever vulnerable.”
Those honored at this year’s gala were Benjamin Hatfield, a prosecuting attorney that helps in child abuse cases; Amber Higgens, a child abuse survivor, public speaker to children, and a domestic violence advocate; Mike Bone, Founder of Warm Hand Warm Hearts; and Jordan Legg, a senior Minister of Grandview Christian Church that has been a monthly donor of the advocacy center for over 10 years.
Hatfield’s office prosecutes many cases of child abuse and neglect, a mission that they hold as their top priority.
“It’s important to act as a deterrent effect to anyone who has the idea that they could abuse or neglect kids because they’re the people that need to be protected the most,” Hatfield says.
Just for Kids works with community members like the ones that were honored to mitigate the effects child abuse has on the child victims that suffer from it. They also work to create a more coordinated response to child abuse and to provide a safer environment for the kids.
The advocacy center has helped more than 3,500 children since its start in 2003.