SAN MARCOS —Child Abuse Prevention leader Casa de Amparo held a grand opening ceremony for the organization’s new Casa Kids Campus in the Twin Oaks Valley area of San Marcos.“It took 14 years to reach this point,” said Master of Ceremonies and Board President Mark Allyn, “But seeing it today, I think you can all agree it was worth it.”The Casa Kids Campus will enable Casa de Amparo to expand and enhance programs and services to meeting evolving needs in child abuse treatment and prevention in the San Diego community. The $14 million, 11.4-acre campus began construction in December, 2010.
“We are deeply grateful for the tremendous outpouring of community support that has made it possible to reach this point,” said Sharon Delphenich, executive director. “Our goal is to raise a final $2.7 million to make the campus debt-free in order to devote maximum resources to programs that directly assist children suffering from or at-risk of abuse or neglect as well as programs to build healthy family relationships.”
Speakers included Mayor Jim Desmond of San Marcos; Nick Macchione, Director San Diego County Health and Human Services; Paul Mittermeier, Director of Communications, The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation; and James Collins, Head Athletic Trainer for the San Diego Chargers. Mittermeier and Collins formally dedicated the new campus as the San Diego Chargers Courage House, the 22nd Courage House in the National Football League’s Ed Block Courage House Network dedicated to the prevention of child abuse.
Several San Diego Chargers players attended the ceremony as well as Vice President Jeanne Bonk, Director of Public Affairs & Corporate/Community Relations Kimberley Layton, and members of the training team.
Representatives of Sen. Mark Wyland’s office presented a State Senate Certificate of Recognition to Casa de Amparo in honor of the opening of the new Casa Kids Campus as well as the organization’s 34 years of service to the San Diego community.
Troy Pace, a participant in the organization’s New Directions program for former foster youth also spoke, saying, “I don’t come from the best background, but I refuse to be a victim. One of my favorite quotes is ‘I don’t want to be a product of my environment; I want my environment to be a product of me.’ “
For more information about Casa de Amparo’s work in the community or to donate or volunteer, see casadeamparo.org.