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Radiothon will help Hubbard County children

Money raised through the Radiothon to End Child Abuse will stay in Hubbard County to help prevent abuse as well as help children who have been abused receive help.

Jennifer Therkilsen is a member of the Hubbard County Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC). She said that, according to statistics from Hubbard County, 644 child protection reports were received in 2016 and 329 of them met criteria for investigation or assessment.

"Our mission is to empower local organizations that address the five identified protective factors (social and emotional competence, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, resilence and concrete support)," Hubbard CAPC member Bob Kaumans said. "Every dollar donated to the radiothon that is designated for Hubbard County comes back to help children here."

The Radiothon to End Child Abuse is an effort through Paul Bunyan Broadcasting to raise awareness and funds in Hubbard, Cass, Beltrami and Clearwater counties. Callers to Bemidji and Wadena stations are asked which area they want their pledges to help. Pledges are often made in memory or honor of someone or as a Christmas gift. More information and a link to pledge are available at www.radiothon.info. Pledges may also be called in to 218-444-1500. One hundred percent of the funds raised are used by local programs to help children and families.

Money raised from last year's radiothon designated for Hubbard County totaled $11,437.50. Kinship and the FATHER Project received the largest amounts at $3,750 each. Other agencies that benefited were Hubbard Intervention Center, $1,500; Parents Encouraging Each Other at Century School (PEACE), $1,125; Alternative Learning Center, $750 and the Pregnancy Resource Center with $562.50.

The Hubbard CAPC is made up of community members whose goal is to reduce incidents of child abuse and neglect in Hubbard County. Recently, the group purchased "Teach-a-Bodies" dolls for the Hubbard County forensics team to use during child abuse investigations.

Sheila Ronnebaum chairs the Hubbard CAPC.

"The purchase of these dolls was made possible by money raised through the radiothon and the county," she said. "Without the support of the rRadiothon, we would not be able to maintain funding for the other programs that help families in Hubbard County."

Kauman is a social service worker with Hubbard County. He has seen first-hand how radiothon dollars are helping children who have been sexually abused.

Instead of being questioned in a basement room without windows, they are in a room upstairs with natural light, a more welcoming setting that helps children feel more comfortable. Money also paid for a two-way mirror to make questioning easier on the child.

"It has been very helpful," he said.

Local organizations have the opportunity to apply for funding through CACP each March. Anyone interested in joining the council may contact Ronnebaum at 218-252-0106. Donations by check are welcome all year and may be sent to CAPC, Park Rapids School Community Education, c/o Sally Kading, 301 Huntsinger Ave., Park Rapids, MN, 56470.

The parent site for local councils is changing its name from Prevent Child Abuse in Minnesota to Minnesota Communities Caring for Children.

The Radiothon broadcast will air on KB101, KZY 95.5 and Z99 on Dec. 7 and 8. An on-air auction for items donated by area businesses and individuals will also be held. Go to the radiothon website for more information.

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