The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 23, 2013

Mike Pound: Masquerade ball to raise funds for Children’s Center

I think I’ve told Kathy Olson this before, but I wish she didn’t have the job she has.

It’s not that Kathy isn’t good at her job, because she’s not just good at it, she’s great at it. So are all of the people who work with Kathy. All of them are dedicated, caring, hardworking people who just want to help the people they serve.

Most of the time, the people Kathy and her co-workers serve are children. That’s why I wish Kathy didn’t have the job she has. It would mean that there wasn’t a need for the work that she and her fellow workers do.

Kathy is executive director of the Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri. It offers a “child-friendly” setting for the investigation of child abuse.

Rather than force children to talk to child-abuse investigators in an impersonal cubicle at some sort of law enforcement office, or in a hospital emergency room, the Children’s Center offers a more relaxed, less intimidating place for investigators to speak with a child who may have been abused. Since the center opened its doors in 1997, workers there have seen more than 11,000 children. In 2012 alone, the center saw 1,041 children.

It’s tough for everyone involved. First of all, it’s tough on the child. It’s also tough on the non-abusing family members. But it’s also tough on Kathy and the other people at the center. I mentioned to Kathy that she probably has one of the most depressing jobs around. While acknowledging that her job at times can be a bit depressing, she says she and the people who work with her try not to dwell on the bad.

“All of us (at the Children’s Center) share a great love for children, and we love for children to be treated as children,” she said.

If there ever was a time when a child needed to be treated as a child, it seems to me, that time would be after being abused. And that’s what the folks at the Children’s Center do.

“Even though they have been through a traumatic event, they are still children,” Kathy said.

By the way, while talking about the work done at the Children’s Center, Kathy also talked about the work done by child-abuse investigators for area law enforcement agencies.

“The investigators are amazing,” she said. “We’re lucky we don’t see the things they see. They are actually out in the trenches.”

As you can imagine, it takes money to keep a place like the Children’s Center operating. For the most part, the Children’s Center relies on the kindness of people and organizations in Southwest Missouri for financial support.

One way folks in the area can support the Children’s Center is to make plans to attend the 16th annual Children’s Center Gala. The theme this year is a masquerade ball, which sounds sort of cool.

The gala will be held Saturday, Feb. 2, at the pavilion at Downstream Casino Resort. Champagne and hors d’oeuvres will be served during the cocktail hour, which begins at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m., followed by a live auction. The items in the auction include a trip to Costa Rica, antique furniture and gift certificates from a number of area businesses. After the auction, a band from St. Louis will perform.

Tickets to the gala are $85 a person or $150 per couple. Black tie and masks are optional, but the event, Kathy said, is definitely a dressy affair. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 417-623-2292.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter