Jus­tice for Chil­dren gala

Group that as­sists East Hawaii abuse vic­tims to honor sup­port­ers

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - COMMUNITY -

The Friends of the Chil­dren’s Jus­tice Cen­ter of East Hawaii is host­ing its Jus­tice for Chil­dren gala din­ner at 5:30 p.m. May 4 at the Hilo Hawai­ian Ho­tel to honor an or­ga­ni­za­tion and two in­di­vid­u­als who have been in­stru­men­tal in as­sist­ing the Friends’ work dur­ing the past year.

The hon­orees are Hawaii County Pros­e­cut­ing At­tor­ney Mitch Roth, Friends vol­un­teer Ge­of­frey Cas­burn and the Ro­tary Club of Hilo.

The non­profit Friends works in part­ner­ship with the Chil­dren’s Jus­tice Cen­ter of East Hawaii to re­duce the trauma of abuse re­port­ing, pro­vid­ing ne­ces­si­ties and en­hance­ments to bol­ster a child’s re­turn to a nor­mal life and pro­vide crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion to the pub­lic about child abuse. The gala din­ner is a way for the pub­lic to learn more about the Friends and sup­port its work.

With only one paid staff mem­ber and a cadre of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers, it ac­com­plishes its mis­sion to as­sist de­serv­ing chil­dren through fundrais­ing and grants.

Roth is be­ing rec­og­nized for cre­at­ing a child-friendly at­mos­phere that re­duces the trauma to chil­dren who are re­port­ing abuse. He also formed a Sex­ual As­sault Unit, im­ple­mented a Restora­tive Jus­tice project, iden­ti­fied and pros­e­cuted the in­fa­mous “Where’s Peter Boy?” case, and ac­quired a court­house dog to help vic­tims with trauma tell their story.

Cas­burn is one of the hand­ful of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers who keep the of­fice run­ning. He de­vel­oped dig­i­tal forms that speed the process re­quests for as­sis­tance and or­ga­nized the Friends’ “clothes closet” that fur­nishes needed cloth­ing for keiki taken from their homes. With his truck, Cas­burn not only con­veys and breaks down all the tables and sup­plies the Friends’ need for a com­mu­nity in­for­ma­tion fair, he also serves as a trash run­ner and gen­eral truck driver for all Friends’ needs.

The Ro­tary Club of Hilo was in­stru­men­tal in form­ing the Friends, with its first pres­i­dent, Joe Han­ley, be­ing drawn from the club. For the fifth con­sec­u­tive year, the Ro­tary Club of Hilo has named the Friends as one of only two ben­e­fi­cia­ries of its popular Hilo Brewfest. Club mem­bers also as­sist the Friends with cloth­ing do­na­tion drives and other tasks that re­quire many hands to help.

In ad­di­tion to din­ner, the gala will fea­ture a silent and a live auc­tion and a mov­ing story from the key­note speaker, an amaz­ing young woman who will share her jour­ney of hope and heal­ing.

Tick­ets be­gin at $70 and tables and other lev­els of sponsorship are avail­able on­line at www. fcjcEast Hawaii.org. Fri­day is the dead­line for ticket reser­va­tions.



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