SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - What began in April as four-month, 500+mile kayaking journey to increase awareness and financial support for the Southern VA Child Advocacy Center (CASA), is recognizing a significant milestone; the completion of 300 miles!
Notably ahead of schedule, Sue Gallagher, 68, a Smith Mountain Lake resident and CASA volunteer for the agency, is channeling her efforts and engaging local residents of the lake to champion children’s safety as a vision for the region. Her campaign on April 7 and has shared unique and often unseen highlights of Smith Mountain Lake on the event’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kayakingSMLforKidsSake/.
From sea planes to waterfalls, Gallegher's journey has captured not only the natural beauty, but the adventure Smith Mountain Lake has to offer.
Mrs. Gallagher, reflects on the incredible generosity of others from dock workers who have offered her donations during their lunch break, to residents who have opened their homes for restroom and leg stretching breaks, to those who help with transporting her to and from beginning and end points. She recognizes the assistance of her family and friends who continue to stand with her through as the journey unfolds.
To date, the campaign has provided hundreds of individuals the opportunity to learn more about prevention and treatment strategies for child abuse and neglect, as well as raising over $22,000 to support the services at the child advocacy center. From the individual donations received to the event
sponsors to the businesses that have engaged in supportive activities, like paddle boarding competitions and selling $5 pinwheels to make event wreaths, CASA is thankful.
“The need for our services is real and unfortunately continuing to exceed our capacity,” said Joyce Moran, Executive Officer at the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center. We currently have 9 children who need advocates and we will have to triage their cases until other advocates become available for assignment or we can train more CASA volunteers."
For more information on the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center, visit www.southernvacac.org. Training for Court Appointed Special Advocates begins late this summer. To make a donation in support of Kayaking SML for Kid’s Sake go to the agency’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/svcac4kids/ or mail checks, made payable to Southern Virginia CAC, to Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center, to 300 South Main Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.