WJOL’s Scott Slocum to emcee Children’s Advocacy Center fundraiser; abuse victims in Will, Grundy and Kendall counties helped by center

October 23

JOLIET – WJOL morning man Scott Slocum will emcee an evening of fun that will raise money for an important cause: The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center.

Tickets are on sale now for The Children’s Advocacy Center’s annual fundraiser, which will be from 6-9 p.m., Nov. 15, at IBEW Local 176 Hall, 1100 N.E. Frontage Road in Joliet. Dinner and a cash bar will cost $100 donation per person.

The not-for-profit center’s professionally trained staff interviews children who are the victims of sexual abuse. The children’s statements, which are recorded in a non-suggestive, non-threatening environment, have been used in the successful prosecutions of literally hundreds of sexual predators in Will, Grundy and Kendall counties over the past decade.

“The Children’s Advocacy Center helps protect our children by bringing dangerous sex abusers to justice,” said Slocum, who also serves on the center’s board of directors. “The team there does important work, but it costs money to provide these services. That’s why we’re hoping to see a big turnout during the annual fundraiser on Nov. 15.”

As a non-profit, 501-c-3 agency, the Children’s Advocacy Center depends on grants, private donations, and fundraising to operate. It costs an average of $705 to interview each child brought to the center.

Raffle tickets that offer exciting prizes are currently being sold in conjunction with the November fundraiser. Those tickets cost $20 each and are available by calling (815) 727-0710.

First prize in the raffle is a sports package consisting of Bulls floor seats, NASCAR & IRL racing tickets and more. Second prize is a two-night stay in vacation home in Galena, Ill. Third prize is a 32-inch, high-definition LCD television. Fourth prize is an overnight stay and dinner for two at Resorts East Chicago. Fifth prize includes four Rialto Square Theatre tickets to “Clifford, the Big Red Dog.” Sixth and seventh prizes are 90-day unlimited memberships at Cardinal Fitness Center. The drawing will be held the night of the event.

Organizers also are seeking sponsorships for the event. Gold sponsorships are available for $1,000 and Silver sponsorships are available for $500.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow established The Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995. His goal was to assist law enforcement in obtaining statements from sexually abused children that will hold up in court and enable prosecutors to convict sexual predators. The state’s attorney said it also was critical to develop a more sensitive and cohesive approach to interviewing children who are victimized by sexual abuse.

“Ten years ago, these frightened children were interviewed multiple times, starting with police and continuing with doctors, child welfare advocates and prosecutors,” Glasgow said. “The process was traumatic. And as you might expect, the multiple statements they made often were inconsistent, making it difficult for my office to prosecute the cases and bring abusers to justice.”

Today, children from every police jurisdiction in Will, Grundy and Kendall counties are brought to the Children’s Advocacy Center for a single interview conducted by a professionally trained forensic interviewer in a neutral, non-threatening, non-suggestive environment.

Cases are managed by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of law enforcement, child welfare professionals and prosecutors. This team gains reliable interviews that enhance the state’s attorney’s ability to successfully prosecute cases.

The center also provides free counseling for victims and family members, access to victim-sensitive medical exams, victim compensation, bilingual services, and other resource and referral services.

“The Children’s Advocacy Center provides services that are critical to the investigation and prosecution of these extremely sensitive cases,” said Sue Bloch, the center’s executive director. “Financial support from the community is essential if we are to continue providing these services. One way to support our efforts and to have some fun in the process is by reserving tickets for our annual dinner.”

To reserve tickets or sponsorships, please call the Center at 815-727-0710.