KAYAKING SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE FOR KIDS’ SAKE
April to August Journey to Benefit Area Children and Families
Smith Mountain Lake, Va.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sue Gallagher, 68, a Smith Mountain Lake resident, plans to show her support for area children and families by kayaking the 500-mile perimeter of the Lake to bring awareness to the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center (SVCAC). The Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center provides vital services for abused and neglected children in Franklin, Pittsylvania, Henry and Patrick counties.
Gallagher will launch her kayak from the dock at Smith Mountain Lake Community Park, 1482 Parkway Avenue, Moneta, VA 24121, on Saturday, April 7, at 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend the celebration for the start of Gallagher’s odyssey.
“This is yet another example of how each of us can make a difference in the service to others, especially vulnerable populations.” Joyce Moran, Executive Officer stated. “There are a limitless number of resources throughout our community and Ms. Gallagher’s kayaking journey is a unique example of one way to raise awareness and funding for victims of child abuse,” Moran said. “The journey itself will provide opportunities for more people to learn about our services and ways to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. With the current technologies available, everyone can be a part of this Sue’s adventure.”
A non-profit agency, the center provides vital child-friendly services to support the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Services are comprehensive and tailored to meet the unique needs of the children and non-offending caretakers receiving them. As a community facility and a regional resource for victims of family and community-based violence, volunteers and partnerships are valued and vital. Close to 700 abused and neglected children received services offered by SVCAC in fiscal year 2017 but the agency faced great challenges with limited resources, staff and volunteers necessary to meet every child’s needs. As a volunteer Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer for children, Gallagher decided to raise awareness and funds for the organization by Kayaking Smith Mountain Lake for Kids’ Sake.
“We need to do whatever it takes to help keep these kids safe. If we had more, we could do more,” Gallagher, an avid kayaker, said. She expects to paddle approximately 16 weeks, kayaking 10 to 12 miles every other day, weather permitting.
Supporters can follow her progress on her journey’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kayakingSMLforKidsSake/, and can make donations, too, either through the Facebook page, or by mailing checks, made payable to Southern Virginia CAC, to Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center, 300 South Main Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.