Kathy Picard Named Founder’s Day Award Winner

IMG_4238The Founders Day award is given annually to a woman in the greater Quaboag area who exemplifies the ideals of Zonta International, a global organization of professionals working together to advance the status of women and girls worldwide through service and advocacy.  Kathy Picard of Ludlow, MA has been chosen by the Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley to receive its 2014 Founders Day award. She will be honored with a reception and dinner on Monday, November 10, 2014 at Ludlow Country Club.

A graduate of Cathedral High School and a receptionist at Valley Communications in Chicopee, Kathy was nominated to recognize her tireless advocacy on behalf of children and adults who are survivors of child sexual abuse. Just this year, she was present to witness a new bill signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick that extends the statute of limitations from age 21 to 53 for sex abuse victims to file suit against their abusers. Kathy worked for 12 years for passage of the bill. She has now filed suit against a male family member who abused her between the ages of 7 and 17. In addition to speaking at the Dunbar Community Center, the YMCA of Greater Springfield and with other groups of all sizes, she has been instrumental in raising awareness through Children’s Safety Events and through Childhelp “Speak Up Be Safe” – a child abuse and bullying prevention education curriculum. Kathy received the Unsung Heroine award at the State House in 2006 and will also be recognized as a recipient of this year’s prestigious Pynchon Award.    Pre-registration is required. Email Pamela Albertson at pam@zontaqv.org with names of all attendees and pay $25/pp at the door – cash, check or credit card.
Like last year’s honoree, Yoko Kato, Kathy Picard is a keen supporter of our initiative called “Zonta Says NO” – a campaign focused on ending violence against women and girls. Zonta International considers this a societal issue. Maria Jose Landeira Oestergaard, President of ZI, notes that we need to “address root causes and focus on prevention through education to change attitudes in men and women.”   Kathy has brought that vision to Western MA with the help of www.childhelp.org.

General statistics from ChildHelp: A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. More than four children die every day as a result of child abuse. Approximately 70% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion. childhelp.org/pages/statistics


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