NORTH BENNINGTON -- For families looking to enjoy the outdoors at least one more time this season, a fun-day and barbecue will be held at Lake Paran today, Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine.
At $3 per person or $12 per family, the cost of the event will include hamburgers and hot-dogs, ice cream, jewelry making, crafts, games and live music. Tie-dye will be available at an additional $10 charge, to cover the cost of a shirt and materials.
Local band Vice-Versa will donate their time and talent for the cause. Band members include Seth Bartholdi, Brandon Olson, Dylan Olson, Michael Elliot, and Caleb Tift.
The day is being hosted by the Bennington County Child Advocacy Center, to benefit their community programming and local victims of sexual and physical abuse.
"This is going to be a fun family event that doesn't cost a lot of money," said Joy Kitchell, executive director of the advocacy center.
The BCCAC hosts summer programs at Bennington Elementary and Woodford Elementary, and holds trainings throughout the year for adults who work with children; the next one is set to begin in November.
"We help children and young adults with the healing process, and try to start as soon as possible," said Kitchell.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Center being officially incorporated, five years after Bernadette "Bunny" Thompson and Gary Briggs, of the Department of Children and Families and the Bennington Police Department respectively, recognized a need for county child protection services to collaborate.
"We have been a well-oiled machine here for many years, but that does not mean we don't need to generate funding," said Beth Sausville, vice president of the nonprofit.
"Some of our costs go toward buying tangible things to help support victims and their families," said Sausville, who noted that the Center was the third in the state to operate formally, and has received official accreditation from the National Children's Alliance.
Only 10 percent of children are abused by strangers, and as many as 60 percent of all sexual assaults are not reported to the police, according to statistics by From Darkness to Light.
The BCCAC provides resources and support to children and families during the process of abuse investigation, and operates with federal and state funding as well as support from the community.
Contact Khynna at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @khynnakat.