>A fence on a hilltop?
>A fence on a hilltop?

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Child, family support center dream now reality

JoAnn Autry is on a mission.

Hired in January as the development coordinator for the Cache Child and Family Support Center, she feels strongly about the center?s goal of providing a place for children and families to find respite from abuse and other problems.

Autry, along with many other employees and supporters of the center?s mission, celebrated the grand opening of an expanded building for the center on Wednesday, which opened its doors after nearly ,300,000 worth of work and two years of construction.

BThis is a mission I feel really strongly about,C said Autry, who?s daughter Trisha was kidnapped and murdered in 2000 by Cody Nielsen in one of the ultimate cases of violence against children seen locally. BWe are the fence at the top of the hill and rather than let these little bodies go over and have to have the ambulance come and pick them up, we?re trying to build the fence.C

Autry?s job is to raise money for the center, which, with its expansion, will offer new classes for children and make space available for public meetings. Next month, people will be able to have pink flamingos placed on their friends? lawns, which can then be removed for a donation of at least ,10. Also next month, the center will hold a fundraising dinner at Hamilton?s Steak and Seafood restaurant in North Logan.

All the fundraising efforts will go to support the center, which already had raised all but ,80,000 of the expansion?s ,295,000 bill, said Executive Director Esterlee Molyneux.

Both Autry and Molyneux said they?re excited about what the center at 380 W. 1400 North will be able to provide.

BThis is a place of miracles,C Molyneux said. BWe really are wanting to protect children and strengthen families.C

Among the new facilities built as part of the expansion, Molyneux said, was a therapy playroom for child victims of abuse, a group meeting room and extra offices and areas for people to meet in private. The extra space will allow the center to offer two new classes for children, and an anger management class for 4- and 5-year-olds and a peer pressure and decision-making class for pre-teenagers will be added.

Even with the expansion, Molyneux said, there?s a waiting list for all the programs offered by the Child and Family Support Center, but that?s nothing new, as she guessed that even if the building expanded again there?d still be plenty of demand for the center?s services.

Molyneux said that any families with children could find something for them at the expanded center.

BIt doesn?t matter how much money you make or what religion you are or what your life situation has been,C she said, Bif you have a child, we have a way to support you.C

Anyone seeking information about the center or any of the fundraisers planned for April can contact them at 752-8880.

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