Balloons Released To Combat Child Abuse

WHEELING – Remembering child abuse victims throughout the Upper Ohio Valley, friends of the Harmony House Children’s Advocacy Center released 287 balloons Saturday during the “Hope for Spring” event at Oglebay Park.

“The balloons symbolize the children who are brave enough to discuss their abuse,” Joanna Merriman, Harmony House coordinator, said. “They all have the word ‘Hope’ written on them.”

Merriman said the agency works to ensure that children receive the care and comfort they need in attempting to recover from child abuse. She said for every child who reports abuse, there is probably another one who fails to do so.

Harmony House works in Ohio, Marshall and Belmont counties in coordination with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Along with Merriman, those organizing the Saturday fundraiser included Caroline Beckwith, Chris Carder, Anne Ricci, Adrienne Klouse, Gigi Mercer, Kate Monroe, Tammy Paree, Judy Roxby, Christy Brandt, Saun Capehart, Julie Joseph, Jane Lambie, Laura Ondeck, Marylon Rahbar and Emma Vosvick.

“We appreciate the support,” Merriman said.