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Walk to End Child Abuse raises more than $11,000 for charities

July 22, 2012
  • The family members of Bella and Justice, include, front row, from left, David Wiles, Dianne McCusker, Lorie Faith, Kendyl Faith, Jordan Appel, Ashley Myers-Brown and Dee Myers. Back row, from left, Garrett Wiles, David Faith, Michelle Wiles, Tanner Faith, Skylar Faith and Nink Myers.
Submitted photo

The second annual Walk to End Child Abuse in Hancock raised more than $11,000, money that was distributed recently to organizations that benefit children and help fight child abuse in the Tri-State area, according to Dee Myers.

The Walk to End Child Abuse was organized by family members of Justice Christopher Calvin Myers-Cannon and Bella Appel, both of whom died as a result of child abuse.

Dee Myers is the grandmother of Justice.

The walk took place on April 28 and more than 350 people participated, said Dianne McCusker, the great-grandmother of Bella.

The money raised was presented to the organizations on July 10 during a dinner at the Golden Corral in Hagerstown, Myers said.

The Safe Place Child Advocacy Center of Washington County received $4,500, as did the Safe Haven Satellite Center in Morgan County, W.Va.

Safe Place is an agency that investigates allegations of physical and sexual abuse against children, and provides counseling and support services for the children, Washington County Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson said.

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Safe Haven has a similar mission, Wilson said.

Gifts of $1,000 each were presented to South Mountain Bikers Against Child Abuse  and West Virginia Bikers Against Child Abuse.

Starting Points of Morgan County received $300 in Martin’s gift cards and $200 to buy food for its backpack program to feed needy children.

Five-week-old Bella Appel died in January 2010. Her father, Nicholas McKee, was convicted of first degree child abuse resulting in death and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Justice Myers-Cannon died of injuries sustained in 2007. A Hagerstown man, Floyd Edward Bingaman III, was convicted in the child’s death and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Efforts by the families of the children and their supporters led to the passage of Justice’s Law in Maryland, which increases the maximum penalty to 40 years for child abuse resulting in death.

This year’s walk included a 5K run and a children’s bikeathon, in addition to the walk.

Planning for the April 27, 2013, Walk to End Child Abuse is under way. Businesses, organizations and individuals wanting to help or set up an information booth at next year’s walk can go to http://endchildabusemd.weebly.com/index.html and click on the Child Abuse Walk tab to leave information, or send an email to ram1291@msn.com.

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