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Fire House Poker Run to benefit child victims of domestic violence

In Charities, Children and Family, Entertainment, Local News, State News, Uncategorized on July 15, 2014 at 7:23 pm

IMG_7297On Saturday, July 19, motorcyclists will have the opportunity to participate in the first annual Fire House Poker Run to benefit the “Shoe Barn Project,” a fundraising effort to provide new shoes for children who come through the Greene County Children Services or The Family Violence Prevention Center. Registration begins at 10:30 AM for $15 per bike at Buckminn’s D and D Harley Davidson at 1213 Cincinnati Avenue in Xenia.

With kickstands up at noon from Buckminn’s, participants will ride from one fire house to the next, enjoying the unique look and atmosphere of each and actually driving through several of them as if they were covered bridges.  After a long, scenic tour along the Greene County countryside, including Cedarville, New Jasper, Silvercreek, Jefferson, Xenia and Spring Valley Township fire departments, the ride will conclude at Willie’s Bar in the Xenia Towne Square with an after party featuring gift raffles and entertainment by the Just-N-Time band. Willie’s will be donating 10 percent of sales to the fundraiser.

The first annual Fire House Poker Run is an event organized by First Responders And Bikers Advocating Against Abuse (FRABAAA). According the FRABAAA’s mission statement, the group is, “committed to empowering, educating, advocating, as well as facilitating victims of abuse and violence to become survivor, one HERO at a time.”

IMG_7293Shella Baker is the organizer of FRABAAA. “After helping kids and families who lived in The Family Violence Prevention Center of Greene County (FVPC) what we noticed each year was that, even above toys, children were asking for shoes,” she says. “This really struck me as such a basic need; it was surprising that a lot of children would even think about asking for shoes at Christmas.”

“This past April, during child abuse awareness month, we had a shoe drive with local hospitals and fire departments as well as Samaritan Crisis center and Xenia Walmart,” she says. “We collected shoes to start what has become known as the Shoe Barn Project to benefit the kids housed at the center.”

Supporting the FVPC is a personal mission for Baker, a nurse and paramedic who sees, first hand, the devastating toll domestic violence can take on a family. But Baker’s actions are driven from a much more personal experience – as a survivor of domestic violence. Twenty-five years ago, she and her son took refuge at the FVPC to escape an abuser and now she wants to give back. Today, she has joined with fellow first responders to advocate for victims and promote awareness and prevention, the poker run will help support that cause.

The FVPC began in 1979 as a project of the Greene County Welfare Department known as the Greene County Domestic Violence Project. It started out as a simple, two-bedroom apartment in Yellow Springs but the agency has evolved to provide support and education through services such as a 24-hour crisis hotline and safe housing as well as prevention and outreach programs.

Today the agency is located at 380 Bellbrook Avenue in Xenia and is certified by the Council on Accreditation. It was also recently renamed, The Kathryn K. Hagler Family Violence Prevention Center, to honor the late Greene County leader’s service in advocacy of families and children.

“When FRABAAA started the Shoe Barn Project we wanted to reach out even further to help all kids in the system that have been victims of abuse,” Baker notes. “We hope to one day have a huge operation to help not only Greene County but counties across the state and Country. To make that happen, we need to get more communities on board.”

FIRE_HOUSE_POKER_RUN_1Riders in the poker run will get to actually drive through the fire stations at Cedarville, Xenia and Spring Valley, with a snack stop at the Jefferson Township station in Bowersville. Awards will be given for first, second and third place hands and a Fire House award for the worst hand. For more information about the poker run, visit the group website at http://www.frabaaa.com or call Shella Baker at (937) 789-7262. If you are in immediate need of help in a domestic violence situation, call the center’s crisis line at 937-372-4552 or 937-426-2334.

“When FRABAAA started the Shoe Barn Project we wanted out  reach out even further to help all kids in the system that have been victims of abuse,” Baker notes. “We hope to one day have a huge operation to help not only Greene County but counties across the state and Country. To make that happen, we need to get more communities on board.”

Riders in the poker run will get to actually drive through the fire stations at Cedarville, Xenia and Spring Valley, with a snack stop at the Jefferson Township station in Bowersville. Awards will be given for first, second and third place hands and a Fire House award for the worst hand. For more information about the poker run, visit the group website at www.frabaaa.com or call Shella Baker at (937) 789-7262. If you are in immediate need of help in a domestic violence situation, call the center’s crisis line at 937-372-4552 or 937-426-2334.

Watch the full video interview on WDTN-TV2’s Living Dayton.

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