The mood was somber Saturday at the Youth Service Bureau’s “A Blue Tie Affair” auction and dinner, while about 250 attendees watched a video highlighting the prevalence of child abuse in America. Every day, five children die due to child abuse, they learned, while a woman’s voice sang, “It shouldn’t hurt to be a child.”
The serious song set the mood to raise funds for YSB, which serves teens who are one step away from a jail sentence, provides counseling to kids with depression, creates safe places for children of divorced spouses to visit their parents, and offers other services to more than 2,000 clients in more than 20 counties, according to executive director Frank Vonch.
During the event, Ron McInroy, director of UAW Region 4, was recognized to honor the union’s contributions to the organization. McInroy also was named the honorary chairman of the 2014 Campaign for Kids.
McInroy estimated at least 25 representatives of the union attended the event. UAW has about 12,000 active members in Illinois, and about 52,000 in the nine states of Region 4, he said.
“We know it’s great that they’re helping kids that have a tough life — if they’ve been abused, if they don’t have shelter,” McInroy said.
The influence of YSB staff and programs have the potential to change those children’s lives, he added.
“Hopefully, they’ll be a community leader when they grow up,” McInroy said.
In addition to UAW, major sponsors for the auction were Illinois Valley Contractors Association, Caterpillar and Fairmont Minerals.
Decorations included pictures of pinwheels colored blue by children at area schools.