CRICKET Center to host Walk for Kids, Sunday

(April 24, 2015) To bring attention to Child Abuse Awareness Month and raise funds for its operations, the non-profit CRICKET Center in Berlin will hold its second annual Walk for Kids on the Boardwalk this Sunday, April 26. 

“Part of our mission as the only child advocacy center in Worcester County is prevention,” said CRICKET Center Executive Director Wendy Myers. “Get the word out – there are tangible ways to protect our kids and it takes a community to do so.”

Registration begins at 11 a.m. at Hooters, on Fifth Street and the Boardwalk with the walk kicking off at noon. There is a $25 donation that includes the walk, a commemorative token and a two-hour reception at Hooters.

“It will be a fun time and the weather is looking good,” Myers said.

The route starts at Hooters with walkers heading down to the inlet, turning around and coming back, which is a little more than a mile, Myers said. Others may decide to keep going down to 27th Street.

There will be Girl Scout volunteers along the route with water and prizes will be awarded to top fundraisers who hand in their pledge sheets at the race or before, Myers said.

All participants who raise more than $75 will receive a T-shirt.

The adult group that raises the most funds will receive a crab feast including drinks and Ocean City gift certificates.

The youth group with the most donated money will have a pizza party delivered complete with cookies or cupcakes and soda.

An individual under 21 who raises the most money will receive tickets to the Shorebirds, passes to Jolly Rodger, free games for Old Pro Golf and a McDonald’s gift card.

The individual adult basket winner acquires gift certificates including one from BJ’s on the Water, Ocean City wine glasses, a collector bottle of wine from the Cricket Center and other goodies.

All participants are invited to attend a reception at Hooters after the walk from 1-3 p.m. There will be an assortment of complimentary foods, soft drinks, happy hour prices for alcohol and a raffle.

The raffle will include items such as tickets to Nationals and Orioles games, a cooler, a mirror beer sign and a Hooters prize package with 200 wings and four pitchers of beer.

“Hooters is very generous and we appreciate them,” Myers said. “Many fundraiser sponsors require organizations to pay for the food and alcohol. To have someone who says … ‘every dime raised goes to you and your kids,’ it’s pretty special.”

Last year, 111 participants raised more than $5,000 for the CRICKET Center.

“Our goal is to surpass that number and with $3,300 raised so far, we are sure to exceed it with people registering at the event,” Myers said.

The Children’s Resource Intervention Center, Kids Empowerment Team (CRICKET) Center employees work as a comprehensive team to investigate, prosecute and treat child physical and sexual abuse by minimizing the trauma, preventing further victimization and promoting emotional healing for the victim and their loved ones.

They partner with local law enforcement, Atlantic General Hospital, Life Crisis, Inc., the Board of Education, child protection workers and the State’s Attorney Office.

The non-profit provides a variety of free services to children and their families including a 24-hour response, on-site forensic medical exam by a SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) nurse, on-site therapist, on-site forensic interviewers, an on-site family advocate, community education on child abuse, an assessment and investigation of child neglect, physical, sexual, and mental abuse, and when warranted by evidence the prosecution of offenders.

The CRICKET Center in Berlin is one of two accredited child advocacy centers on the Eastern Shore by the National Children’s Alliance with the other located in Talbot, Myers said.

The nonprofit organization relies heavily on grants and donations to provide victims and their families with the help they need.

The next event is the 2015 Pig & A Jig BBQ Festival, which will be located at Snow Hill Auto Body on Route 113 on Friday, May 29, from 4-10 p.m. and Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The event includes professional and amateur BBQ competitions with $9,000 in prizes, live music, beer, food, amusement rides and entertainment. For more information visit www.pigandajig.org.

“Preston Motors is sponsoring the event and it’s always very fun,” Myers said. “It’s the third year we have held this event and the first year we partnered with the BBQ Festival and will continue that partnership.”

The CRICKET Center’s largest, annual fundraiser takes place at Seacrets for “Jamaican a Difference, ‘Mon” on Oct. 16 from 6-10 p.m. It costs $65 a person with a two hour open bar, hors d’oeuvres, raffles and a silent action. When Worldz Collide will provide live entertainment at the event.

Register online at www.thecricketcenter.com and for more information contact Myers at 410-641-0097 or wendy.myers@maryland.gov.

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