The American Legion Post 202 and Medina Kiwanis, both celebrating their 100-year anniversaries, chose to share the landmark occasion by each presenting a check for $1,000 to the Medina County Children's Center July 11.
Barb Woodard and Nancy McNeal came as presenters from the Medina Kiwanis while Commander Dave Taylor, Ray Hewitt, and Dave Lofy represented the American Legion. In addition to Children's Center Executive Director Rhonda Wurgler, Activities Coordinator/Director Anna Guy-Leach, and Center staff members, others present included Owen Blakeslee, and Health Department Executive Director Krista Wasowski.
Wurgler gave the guests a tour of the newly remodeled and expanded facility at 724 East Smith Road, calling it a great asset in the community. She described the functions of each separate area, and explained how the total focus is on making the already-traumatized children feel safe and comfortable in a friendly, non-threatening setting.
The Children's Center of Medina County is the umbrella that inclusively services three significant programs: child advocacy, family visitation, and anti-human trafficking awareness and education (an abused child has a high risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking). Commander Taylor expressed the thoughts of the others when he said to Wurgler, "God bless you for all you do."
Medina County is not immune to to children experiencing abuse and neglect. More than 10,000 abused and neglected children have been helped since the Center opened 10 years ago. The numbers are staggering, and sadly, they continue to grow; from 2017 to 2018 there was an increase of 200 reported cases, which is barely 10 percent of the number of abused children.
The Center expressed gratitude for the generous donations from Medina Kiwanis and the American Legion. The agency relies on financial community support, which covers almost 50 percent of its budget.
A community open house is scheduled for Sunday, August 11, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Center. All are welcome.