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2002 News from Mecklenburg County


December 12, 2002

OVERCOMING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:
CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS WITH "HERO"

Charlotte, NC – As we've seen in recent months, anyone can be a hero.  But it takes a special kind of hero to make a difference in the life of a child who lives in the shadow of domestic violence.  That is why the Mecklenburg County Women's Commission is hosting the 7th annual HERO Holiday Celebration.  The celebration will take place Friday, December 13 at 6:00pm at Allstate Insurance Company, 401 McCullough Drive, Charlotte.

The Domestic Violence Child Observers HERO program empowers families to break free from the cycle of domestic violence.  The Women's Commission has sponsored the celebration since 1996 for children ages 2 –18 who were served by the program.  Between 400 and 500 children are expected at this year's event.  The children and guests will enjoy an evening of holiday cheer, games, food, and special children's entertainment.  A magician, juggler, balloon artist, and face painters will entertain them, as well as appearances by MecklenBear, Geoffrey the Giraffe, Robocop, and Winger.

Sponsors for the HERO Holiday Celebration include Philip Morris, which is providing $9,000 to fund the festivities, Toys R Us contributed $1000 toward gifts, and Allstate Insurance Company, is providing dinner and the location.  Many other companies also support the HERO program with monetary and in-kind donations.  Volunteers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Department and many other agencies assist the HERO staff in planning the party.

The HERO program served more than 1,200 children last year.  The 12-week structured program teaches new communication and coping skills to children who have witnessed domestic violence.  The program also helps children learn alternatives to violent relationships, to identify emotions and to discuss feelings of isolation, anger and confusion.

In order for this Holiday Celebration to be successful, donations are encouraged.  Mecklenburg County citizens are asked to bring any unwrapped gifts, such as toys and games, to the Mecklenburg County Women's Commission at 700 North Tryon Street, Charlotte.  The Domestic Violence Child Observers HERO Program is a unit of the Mecklenburg County Women's Commission. 



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