Victims Assistance Center to honor heroes, raise funds at community barbecue

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WATERTOWN — It’s no secret the past few years have been difficult for everyone. Amid the global pandemic and tensions abroad, many people have still been dealing with domestic violence and abuse.

The Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County provides services to people who are impacted by violence or crime through advocacy, education and emotional support.

The agency is 96% grant-funded and its budgets have been impacted immensely in recent years. All services through the VAC are free of charge for clients, and the organization is hopeful it can continue with this. Fundraising events help support the Child Advocacy Center, a program of the VAC. The Child Advocacy Center provides a safe, neutral and child-friendly setting for victims of abuse and neglect to receive healing services. In 2021, the CAC served 1,294 children facing child abuse, neglect and sexual assault, as well as witnesses to domestic violence.

This year, the VAC will hold a Night of Heroes drive-thru chicken barbecue dinner catered by Worth Gold Farms to raise money for the CAC while honoring its local heroes for 2020 and 2022. In 2020, an event to honor the awarded hero did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020 hero was physician assistant Regina Wetterhahn, who has been a medical provider for the CAC for more than a decade. During that time, she has provided specialized care and expertise to children needing a medical exam as a result of allegations of abuse.

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