By Harrison Singer SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS)– On April 6, the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center will hold its annual “Pinwheel Ball” in support for victims of child abuse. The event commemorates Child Abuse Awareness Month, and serves as just one of several demonstrations – both recent and upcoming – carried out by the organization.
“We also support victims of human trafficking. This passed Monday, we had a breakfast with about 500 attendees where we had a survivor come and speak about her experience,” said Patricia Usherwood – a development specialist at McMahon Ryan.
However, according to Usherwood, the organization is doing even more. After the “Pinwheel Ball” this weekend, the McMahon Ryan will hold a candlelight vigil to remember victims of child abuse, sexual abuse and human trafficking at Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel. After that, McMahon Ryan will hold its annual “Step Up For Kids” 5K run. Usherwood says that both events will take place towards the end of the month.
In addition to holding events, McMahon Ryan gives support to victims of child abuse and human trafficking on a day-to-day basis. In doing so, Usherwood says the organization works with local government and law enforcement.
“All of our referrals come in either through Child Protection Services where a claim or file has been put into place, or through a law enforcement agency where something criminal has happened, and there needs to be an investigation into what has transpired and what trauma has been brought to the child,” says Usherwood.
When McMahon Ryan holds the “Pinwheel Ball” at the Oncenter this Saturday, the organization will also be celebrating a milestone, according to Usherwood.
“This year, [the fundraiser] happens to coincide with our 20-year anniversary, so at the ‘Pinwheel Ball,’ we are celebrating our two co-founders,” she says.
Also worth noting, the number for the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is (1-800) 422-4453.