The Child Center, Inc. honored their 2019 One with Courage Award winners at their annual One with Courage Gala held on April 27, 2019 at the St. Charles Convention Center.

“We are so grateful to have such compassionate and dedicated champions for our agency,” said Sissy Swift, Executive Director, “Awardees are chosen based on their commitment to our mission and the contribution of time, talent, and treasure. Each awardee has gone above and beyond to help end child abuse.”

Bruce and Kirsten Pahde were honored as the Supporter of the Year. Kirsten & Bruce Pahde own and operate Right at Home In Home Care & Assistance providing services to seniors and disabled adults throughout St Charles, Lincoln, and Warren counties. They live in Lake Saint Louis with their two dogs. Kirsten & Bruce first became aware of The Child Center through their good friend when she joined the staff of The Child Center, which coincided with the arrival of former a board member, Heather Cushing, as Right at Home’s Community Outreach Coordinator. Hearing about the positive impact that The Child Center has on this community, families and children provides more than enough motivation to continue offering support to The Child Center.

Traci Everman was honored as the Volunteer of the Year. Traci has been a Wentzville resident for 15 years and has a lovely family with her husband Mike, who she’s been with for 23 happy years. Her children Ariel, Skylar and Zavier are the joy in her life. Traci discovered the The Child Center through a family friend whose daughter was abused by her female babysitter. Traci watched how The Child Center helped that family through the forensic interview, attorney assignment, and prosecution of the perpetrator. The Child Center provided the little girl 7 years of counseling after the abuse and without their help, who knows how that trauma could have affected the little girl as she grew up. Traci has been on the Gala auction committee for 4 years now and will continue to give her time to volunteer for many years to come.

Finally, The Child Center, Inc. was pleased to recognize the Funder of the Year, Mercy Kids. Mercy Kids is the pediatric division of Mercy, with a network of pediatric care providers dedicated to meeting the needs of every child, every day. It is powered by over 700 pediatricians and family doctors in partnership with 125 pediatric specialists. Anchored by two acute care pediatric hospitals in St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri, Mercy Kids offers a full range of services to support healthy childhoods, including pediatric, specialty and developmental services. It is in this tradition that Mercy Kids strives to meet every need of every child, every day. Following Sr. Catherine’s example and their mission, Mercy supports The Child Center and its compassionate work to help children in our local area who have experienced abuse or other traumatic events.

The Child Center, Inc., is a child-focused place where a comprehensive, coordinated approach is taken in response to allegations of child sexual and physical abuse occurring in our 14 county service area. The primary goal of The Child Center, Inc., is to ensure that children disclosing abuse are not further victimized by the intervention systems designed to protect them.  Services offered include forensic interviews, children and family advocacy, mental health therapy, and school and community-based prevention education programs. Funds raised by the One with Courage Gala befitted The Child Center’s mission.