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Child Abuse Prevention Month
Awards Benefit

Family Resources dreams of a world where children are safe and healthy. Each year, the social service agency honors individuals and organizations that share this vision.

Honoring those who have supported child abuse prevention efforts in this region, Family Resources hosted their 18th annual awards dinner at the Westin Convention Center Hotel on April 17, 2013. Honorary co-chairpersons were Peggy Finnegan, Sally Wiggin and Andrew Stockey. Event chairs were Victoria and Steven Clites and the Host committee chairs are Betty and Larry Rich.

This year’s dinner featured a special appearance by Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison whose undeniably impressive career was also touched by incredible personal struggles as a child who suffered abuse. Made possible by a grant from Highmark, Kayla shared her truly inspiring story.

In addition, the following outstanding people and organizations were honored for their work to prevent child abuse and heal its victims:

 

Joni Schwager
Executive Director, Staunton Farm Foundation
Blue Ribbon Award

Phil Gulley
Quiet Champion Award

Wanda Beasley
Children, Youth and Families
Community Service Award

 

"These remarkable people and organizations, setting aside the ordinary constraints to be pragmatic, strive to do the extraordinary to prevent child abuse and promote the welfare of children and families. These awards provide an opportunity for a grateful community to appreciate their efforts."

-Family Resources Executive Director Shauna Spencer

Overview

Raising awareness of child abuse and neglect, and encouraging individuals and communities to support children and families.

Honoring and recognizing individuals and organizations doing exceptional work to ensure the wellbeing of our region’s children and families with a benefit gala.

Welcoming tax-deductible sponsorships and donations.


Contact

Information
412 363 1702 x1015
Email Rebecca Hebert


Facts at a Glance

18th annual Child Abuse Prevention Month
Awards Benefit

  • 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, 2013
    The Westin Convention Center Hotel, Pittsburgh

Kayla Harrison's story

Kayla Harrison made history at the 2012 Olympics in London by winning the first Gold Medal by any American (man or woman) in the history of the sport of judo. Her victory marks another step in a career characterized by success at the sport's highest levels. Kayla's judo career has been undeniably impressive. However, it is her perseverance through incredible personal struggles that is truly inspiring.

Kayla began judo at the age of 6. As a teenager, she quickly distinguished herself as one of the top junior players in the country. Among other national titles, she won the Junior U.S. Open in 2003, 2004 and 2005. She was a two-time US Senior National Champion before she turned 18 and she became only the third American to win the Junior World Championships in 2008. She won a Silver Medal at the Junior World Championships in 2009 and became Senior World Champion in 2010. She was only the fourth American ever to become World Champion. Since 2008 Kayla has been on a world podium every single year.

Her competitive success masked an unimaginable personal struggle. At the age of 16, Kayla revealed the fact that she had been for years sexually abused by her coach. After the story came to light, Kayla moved from Ohio to Massachusetts to train with Jimmy Pedro, a two-time Olympic Bronze medalist and his father Jim Pedro, Sr. The Pedros became Kayla's coaches but also her surrogate family. When she arrived in Massachusetts, she entertained suicide, was depressed, hated judo and wanted to run away. Through discipline, tenacity, and the support of others she fought through the pain both on and off the mat, transforming herself into a strong, confident, articulate young woman who happens to be a world-class athlete.

She also summoned the courage to face her abuser, delivering a victim impact statement at his sentencing hearing in Federal Court in Ohio. She intends to use her Gold Medal profile, voice, and example to encourage and empower others. She also plans to maintain her dominance on the mat by remaining a competitive Judo player with sights on defending her Gold Medal in Rio in 2016.

Her story has captivated audiences everywhere and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, USA Today, Time Magazine, The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, among many others. Kayla was awarded the OC Tanner Inspiration Award, The Women's Sports Foundation's Wilma Rudolph Courage Award and will be named one of Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year for 2012.