HARRISVILLE - Child abuse prevention representatives presented a fundraising campaign to area businesses Wednesday, during the Alcona County Chamber of Commerce meeting at the library.
Their organization, Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention for Alcona County, presents parenting activities twice a year and has been getting positive feedback from participants.
Tammy Ranger of the Children's Trust Fund, which has been supporting the local effort, said in November 2012 more than 20 people participated in a free meal-time event to improve their skills, while their children were cared for nearby. Another activity is being planned for March 14 and will include a family fun night, entertainment and information from Habitat for Humanity and other organizations.
CANPAC's major fundraiser this year involves handmade pins that depict boys and girls who have stories to tell. Each colorful pin, made out of polymer clay, will be sold at Harrisville shops, such as Coming Attractions and the Alcona Coffee Co. Cafe. Cost is $15 per pin and the proceeds will go to the abuse prevention program.
The money will stay in Alcona County and help families here, Ranger told the chamber.
Bob Petrovich made a presentation about the upcoming millage election, which is an effort to raise tax dollars for area schools. Voters will go to the polls Feb. 26 to decide the issue, which increases property taxes 3 mills. A local homeowner with a residence assessed at $40,000 would pay $120 more in property taxes for the next 10 years to provide $797,000 the first year alone.
The money would offset cuts that have been made in Alcona Community School programs, affected by declining enrollment and property values.
The issue has been controversial, with numerous letters to the editor appearing in local papers.
"There are no bad guys in this," Petrovich told the audience. "Our kids deserve the opportunity to compete in the 21st century."
Chamber member Judie Labadie said her neighbor's nine-year-old daughter gets on a school bus at 6:05 a.m., and doesn't get home until 4:35 p.m., because over the years bus routes have been consolidated.
"Most of the kids sleep on the bus," Petrovich said.
In other business:
* donated $100 for the Alcona County Library's Easter Egg Hunt in Harrisville
* set a deadline of items to be submitted by area organizations to the chamber's calendar of events.
* discussed holding a volunteer downtown Harrisville cleanup day in May, before the start of the summer season.
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693.