By Tess Koman
Last Saturday, Sigma Delta Tau hosted its annual Gala to raise money for its philanthropy Prevent Child Abuse America.
The Gala was held in the College Park Hall ballroom. Over 120 students, parents, faculty members and alumni attended.
Throughout the event, the Dutch Pipers, Garnet Minstrelles and Union College Dance Team all performed.
A silent auction was held; the event raised $3,808 in total and all proceeds went to PCAA.
What distinguished this year’s Gala from previous ones was the presence of Jim Hmurovich, the President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. When asked to speak at the Gala, Hmurovich began to organize a full weekend of PCAA events throughout the Capitol Region.
“What we should be doing as a nation is encouraging a grass roots effort,” he said.
There was a New York Chapter walk-a-thon in Washington Park, and panels were held throughout the weekend to discuss adverse childhood experiences.
Hmurovich explained that as the nation’s economic crisis worsened over the past few years, there has been a trend of elevated numbers of child abuse across the country: “When people are stressed, they tend to hurt their children.”
[pullquote]“What we should be doing as a nation is encouraging a grass roots effort.”Jim HmurovichPresident and CEO ofPrevent Child Abuse America[/pullquote]When children experience adversity from the time they are born until they are five years old, “bad things happen in dominoes. It leads to physical abuse, drug usage, and violence. What could prevent all of this is bringing awareness to healthy childhood development,” he said.
“People want to do good,” Hmurovich. “They want to help children. But they don’t always know how to help.”
While people acknowledge that something should be done to prevent child abuse, they do not always realize that the reason it occurs is because, “we don’t have a plan for the healthy development of children.”
Recently, in a poll released about children’s well being worldwide, “the US came in 20th place. That’s horrible.”
Hmurovich asks that we exercise our responsibilities as a friend and a neighbor: to watch for warning signs when someone with young children is stressed or overworked.
To conclude his visit, Hmurovich alluded to Eliphalet Nott. “Nott once said, ‘We should all carry our humanity with ourselves.’ I’m asking you now to carry your humanity with you.”