Story and Photos by
Beth Christian Broschart
The Parsons Advocate
ELKINS – Tucker County residents were well represented Friday during the Randolph-Tucker Children’s Advocacy Center Champions for Children Dinner, held at Orchard Hall in Elkins. The gathering allowed those who support the Center’s efforts to learn more about how the RTCAC is helping protect children in the area and recognize those who strive to help the group.
RTCAC Executive Director Lydia Johnson-Grady said she was excited to recognize the award winners which went to folks who helped in the category of community partners, Samaritans, outstanding service and professional. The event included a dinner prepared by the members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Coalton, a live auction, a 50/50 raffle and a play by the choir students from Midland Elementary School.
Dodds said the event was born out of the need to recognize professionals, volunteers, individuals and organizations in the community that have supported the development of the RTCAC since its development in 2003.
“The CAC is all about teamwork and collaboration and that is what we are here to celebrate tonight,” Dodds said. “We can’t do this work alone. We are delighted to set aside this time each year to recognize just a few of our local champions – people doing incredible work right here in Randolph and Tucker counties.”
The Champions for Children Professional Award went to Tucker County Chief Deputy Edward Surguy.
“Each year the CAC seeks nominations from professionals throughout Randolph and Tucker counties for the Champions for Children Professional Award,” Dodds said. “Nominees for this category must have demonstrated a commitment to prioritize the protection, advocacy, care and success of children while still maintaining the integrity of the families. This award recognizes someone who has displayed exemplary work effort and passion that extends over and above their regular duties.”
Surguy said he was thrilled to receive his award.
“I have worked with the RTCAC since it began,” Surguy said. “It’s a great organization. The kids are treated well and they work for the best interest of the children they serve.”
The St. George Medical Clinic was also recognized with a Community Partners Award.
“St. George Medical Clinic is an essential health care clinic for Tucker County families,” Dodds said. “The clinic keeps the health and well-being of children, including children who have been abused, at the forefront of their work. The clinic offers parenting classes and a full range of support services for families.”
Director Paul Wamsley and Social Worker Barbara Kincaid accepted the award for St. George Medical Clinic.
“My Social Worker Barbara Kincaid is a champion in child advocacy and our clinic actually sponsors one of the programs,” Wamsley said. “We try to promote child advocacy on their level to help the kids.”
Wamsley said local advocacy for children is growing thanks to all of the partners working together.
“It seems like the children have more of a voice to get their situations taken care of,” Wamsley said.
Dodds said the Community Partners Award recognizes an organization or individual that has partnered and collaborated with the RTCAC, DHHR, Prosecutor’s Office, law enforcement, education, advocacy or treatment agencies to assist in the protection of children.
The winners of the Community Partners Award were Joe Long and Bennie Kisamore from the Tucker County Maintenance Department. Tucker County Commissioners Lowell Moore and Diane Hinkle accepted the award for Long and Kisamore.
“Joe and Bennie could not attend because their kids had a track meet,” Dodds said. “Joe and Bennie have gone out of their way to take care of the office space. They know we are not always there and they help keep our space clean and tidy. Joe and Bennie also contributed labor to build and paint a waiting room for the RTCAC.”
The Champions for Children Samaritan Award went to Jim Severino. Dodds said the Samaritan Award recognizes individuals for exemplary service to the CAC.
“Jim is the director of nutritional services at Davis Medical Center,” Dodds said. “As the director he has used the resources at his disposal to help make the Champions for Children and the Poker Run events a success for the past several years.”
Dodds said the CAC has benefited from food and supplies donated at cost.
Judy McCauley was named the Champions for Children award winner for outstanding service.
“Judy is someone who has been essential to the success of this organization and she is leaving the field after years of dedicated service to children,” Dodds said.
Sponsors for the Randolph-Tucker Children’s Advocacy Champions for Children event include Citizens Bank of WV, Elkins Auto, Mountain Valley Bank, Reckart Logistics, Tucker County Family Resource Network, GFWC Woman’s Club of Elkins, the City of Parsons, Health Center Pharmacy, Phillips Kolsun, St. George Medical Clinic, Davis Trust Company, MegaCorps Logistics, Ray LaMora III, the Town of Montrose and Williams & Associates.
Additional information about the Randolph-Tucker Children’s Advocacy Center is available by calling 304-630-2214 or online at www.rtcac.org.