Breakfast with Santa on Saturday at Russell Vending

Friday, December 3, 2010

Junior's House Child Advocacy Center is hosting Breakfast with Santa at Russell Vending on Saturday morning when the jolly ol' soul arrives on a Lewisburg fire truck.

All proceeds will benefit Junior's House in Lewisburg, a safe place for abused children that first opened in 2002 in Fayetteville. It's named for a boy whose father repeatedly punched his abdomen. Junior's kidneys, liver and other organs shut down.

"Thirty percent of our clients come from Marshall County," according to Carol Foster, business development director for Junior's House.

First National Bank is underwriting the breakfast that's free for children one year old and younger. Others are asked to contribute an amount set to be comparable to the cost of a restaurant breakfast. Michael Sullivan CPA is underwriting children's photos with Santa.

"Santa will have his mail box with him" at Russell's Catering service at 220 Water Street, according to spokeswomen for the event. "Bring your letter already written or write your letter while visiting.

"We want everybody to know that we've opened a permanent office in Lewisburg," Foster said. "The Lew-isburg Housing Authority provides the brick building at 906 Second Avenue North.

"We had a temporary office at the Celebra-tion Inn provided by Millie Miller," the proprietor, Foster said.

Miller, long-recognized as a community helper, provided space for the Child Advocacy Center for well over a year. The Housing Authority decided to provide a building early last year and Junior's House has been there for about six months.

Junior's House services are free of charge to clients and include: trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, forensic evaluations, services for non-offending caregivers and anger management.

One in four girls and one in seven boys are sexually abused before age 18, Foster said with Candi Glasscock of Lewisburg, a state Department of Children's Services who works here among 11 other counties, and who serves on the board of directors for Junior's House.

There were approximately 1,500 reports of abuse in the 17th Judicial District during 2009, Glasscock said. Marshall, Lincoln, Bedford and Moore counties comprise District 17.

The investigation into Junior's death revealed the boy had been running between his father and a TV displaying a video game. Told to stop, the boy was ultimately stopped by the beating. He died a few days later after suffering internal injuries he described to his sister as "snakes in my belly." It was the last abuse suffered by Junior.

The phone number at Junior's House Child Advocacy Center is (931) 359-0830.

Story telling, crafts, face painting, a duck pond and other activities will be available at Breakfast with Santa 9-11 a.m. Saturday at Russell's.