LEWISTON – Androscoggin Children’s Advocacy Center held a lunch in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month on April 4.

Community members toured the facility and the professionals who collaborate at the center thanked their local donors.

“We are grateful to all who have given generously to help create this center. We could not have done it without this community support,” said center Coordinator Bridget O’Rourke.

The Auburn-Lewiston Rotary Breakfast Club provided furniture and other items for the interview room. Employees at Dingley Press helped buy a closed circuit television system. Liberty Mutual Group’s employees purchased forensic interview aids.

Local artists and performers donated their talent for the center’s annual fundraiser, the Children’s Chair-ity Auction. USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College displayed the Children’s Chair Exhibit, a collection of hand-painted child-sized chairs, before the auction.

Lewiston-Auburn Children’s Foundation gave the center operating support. Androscoggin Savings Bank’s MainStreet Foundation provided resource materials for children and families. A grant from the Androscoggin County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation is funding a family advocate to provide support for nonoffending parents.

The first center of its kind in Maine, it is a comfortable place for a child to be interviewed about sexual or physical abuse. Its mission is to promote the healing of victims by providing a strong community response to the investigation, treatment and prevention of child abuse. The center is a joint effort by law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, victim advocates and social, medical and mental health services.

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