Friday, 15 July 2016 13:47

Child Advocacy Center Welcomes New 2016 Board Members

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Above from left are Brian Cummings, Executive Director of the CAC, Karrie Damm, and Diane Cooper-Currier. Above from left are Brian Cummings, Executive Director of the CAC, Karrie Damm, and Diane Cooper-Currier. Submitted photo

Karrie Damm, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County (CAC) has announced that the agency recently welcomed two new members to its board of directors, Dan Kelley, director of Oswego County Opportunities’ Crisis and Development program; and Brian Cummings, vice president of Branch Operations for Oswego County Federal Credit Union.

Kelley became aware of the CAC from his co-workers. When OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier mentioned that the CAC was recruiting members for its board of directors he attended one of its board meetings and was impressed by what he learned about the CAC and its programs.

“As a society we know now that abuse of children is much more prevalent than past generations would have believed or acknowledged,” Kelley. “We know that children who experience abuse that is not addressed and kept in secret will carry painful memories and shame that impact them long into adulthood. I see no greater mission than to advocate for a society where kids don’t get abused and to help remove kids from abusive situations while giving them the help they need to resolve the worst effects of the abuse before the experience engulfs their whole life. There is no greater mission than the well-being of our children.”

For Cummings it was serving as a community volunteer on the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Allocation Committee where his awareness of the CAC was found. “As a member of the Allocation Committee one of our duties was to visit United Way member agencies and learn about the work that these agencies do and the impact they have on Oswego County,” explained Cummings. “When I visited the CAC I was absolutely blown away by the type of work, and the amount of impact they have with so few staff and resources. When I found out the CAC had an opening on its board of directors I jumped at the opportunity to help in any way I can.”

Damm praised the two for their enthusiasm and strong commitment to the CAC. “We are fortunate to add these talented individuals to our board of directors. They recognize the need for our services and understand how these services benefit the children that have been abused and their families. Each brings with them a wide range of skill sets and experiences that will undoubtedly prove beneficial to the CAC and keep us focused on our goal of eliminating child abuse in Oswego County. We are very grateful for their energy and commitment.”

“Being a member of the CAC board of directors gives me the opportunity to share my knowledge of clinic services and revenue management in a way that helps children who have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse,” said Kelley.

“As adults we should do our utmost to provide for the safety of our children and for their care should they get hurt. Thus, we should just care enough to care for the children in our communities. Childhood abuse, though, left unaddressed, is devastating to the individual and an impediment to achieving a meaningful and productive life. Childhood abuse often results in increased school dropout rates, alcohol and substance abuse and dependence, complicated personal relationships, and a host of other problems that impact the whole community. Therefore, the work the CAC does to prevent child abuse and the long term impact of child abuse on individual children increases the likelihood the many of these children will lead productive and meaningful lives that benefit them and the community,” added Kelley.

Located at 301 Beech St. in Fulton, the CAC of Oswego County is a non-profit charitable organization that provides a safe, child-friendly site for the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse. The CAC also has a satellite office located at 4822 Salina Street in Pulaski.

“The work that the CAC provides is priceless,” said Cummings. “Children are so innocent, and need protection and guidance; when that fails, it leaves a lasting impact on the rest of their life. Anything and everything that can be provided to help them through that horrible time needs to be done and the CAC does just that.”

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