Child Advocacy Center names three new board members

Karrie Damm, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, has announced the agency recently welcomed three new members to its board of directors.

Mary Helen Park, a retiree from the Oswego City School District Technology Department, has served as a volunteer for McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center in Onondaga County and Prevent Child Abuse NY in Albany.

Her experience with child abuse prevention and her passion for protecting children made the opportunity to serve on the CAC’s board of directors very appealing.

“Reports of child abuse in the news bother me and made me want to get involved in its prevention,” Park said. “I had read several articles about the CAC and was impressed with their efforts. The CAC does a tremendous job supporting children of abuse as well as providing outreach programs for prevention.

“With the increasing numbers of abuse and neglect in our area, I feel there is much more to be done to protect children.  With my primary interest being prevention, the CAC is a perfect fit for me,” said Park.

Allison Nelson, a lawyer in private practice with the Nelson Law Firm, has prosecuted neglect and abuse cases in Oswego County for much of her career.

Upon establishing the Nelson Law Firm two and half years ago, she began representing and providing legal services to the Oswego County Department of Social Services.

“As my firm handles all neglect/abuse cases for Oswego County, I am very aware of the work that the CAC does,” Nelson said. “It is important for children who have been abused to disclose this information in a child-friendly site and as few times as possible.

“The CAC provides a one-stop location where interviews and physical examinations of children can occur in a location that is child-friendly and provides a location for those children to receive counseling after experiencing a trauma such as child abuse,” Nelson said. “I am ecstatic about being a member of the CAC board of directors. The CAC is something I hold near and dear to my heart and I look forward to offering my expertise and helping to enhance the CAC.”

John Zanewych of Big John Sales, discovered the CAC when he attended a function of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce held at the CAC offices. When he heard the CAC was interested in adding new board members, he knew he wanted to be involved.

“Prior to the meeting I was not aware of the CAC and the work that they do,” said Zanewych. “Child abuse is far too prevalent. It is a vast problem that needs to be addressed.

“The CAC does wonderful work and I am happy to be able to help them in any way I can. Additionally, as a board member for the Chamber of Commerce, as well as the CAC, my hope is that we may develop a synchronicity between the chamber, its members, and the CAC that may lead to increased awareness and bigger and better events that benefit the CAC and the businesses it partners with.” he said. “This is an exciting adventure. I have already been named co-chairperson of the fundraising committee and I am looking forward to being a CAC board member.”

“We are fortunate to add these talented individuals to our board of directors,” said Damm. “They bring with them a wide range of skill sets and experiences that will undoubtedly prove beneficial to CAC and help us focused on our goal of eliminating child abuse in Oswego County.”

Located at 301 Beech St. in Fulton, the CAC of Oswego County is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides a safe, child-friendly site for the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse.

The CAC also has a satellite office located at 4822 Salina St., Pulaski.

For more information on the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, call 592-4453.

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