Creator of Child Abuse Survivor Monument receives 5th Annual Stand Up for Kids Award



    Stand Up for Kids Award recognizes local residents who take action
    against child abuse

    TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - Sculptor and psychotherapist Michael Irving,
Ph.D., was recognized today for his significant contribution to protecting
children and youth from abuse and neglect. The fifth annual Stand Up for Kids
Award, sponsored by the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto, Children's
Aid Society of Toronto and Jewish Family and Child Service, was presented to
Dr. Irving today by Toronto Mayor David Miller as part of Child Abuse
Prevention Month.
    Dr. Irving created the Child Abuse Survivor Monument, which when
completed, will consist of two massive bronze figures adorned with a
sculptural quilt of survivors' hand prints. The monument will be 30 feet wide
by 11 feet tall, making it one of the largest bronze sculptures and social
action arts projects in Canadian history. A total of 190 survivors of child
abuse and their supporters have worked on the sculptural quilt, each making a
square sculpted with images and words.
    "This monument honours the spirit and courage of participating survivors,
and empowers all child abuse survivors to speak out," said Mary Juric,
Director of Service, Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto. "It is our
hope that this monument will create awareness about the dangers of child abuse
and the necessity of on-going prevention."
    Over 5,000 Canadians, including such notables as the Honourable Ken
Dryden, and former NHL player Lanny McDonald, have already participated in the
project through the Helping Hands for Child Abuse Campaign. The campaign asks
participants to send in an outline of their hand and a personal message about
child abuse that will be permanently placed inside the hollow centre of the
finished monument.
    A noted sculptor for more than 30 years, Dr. Irving conceived the Child
Abuse Survivor Monument 17 years ago and has collaborated with hundreds of
survivors, clinicians, artists, donors, and volunteers to carry out the
project.
    "As a community, we all have a responsibility to use our voices to help
stop child abuse," said Mayor David Miller. "Our children are our future, so
it's important to recognize those who have the strength to stand up and make a
difference in the lives of our community's most vulnerable children. I
challenge and encourage all Torontonians to act - and to help stop the cycle
of silence by giving these children a voice."
    The Stand Up for Kids Award ceremony was followed by the second annual
Use Your Voice challenge, where media personalities and the public were
enlisted to use their voices to prevent child abuse. The participants shouted
slogans about preventing child abuse and were judged on their volume level by
M.J. DeSouza, Vice President & Chief Audiologist, ListenUP! Canada.
    Over the past year alone, the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto,
Children's Aid Society of Toronto and Jewish Family and Child Service have
investigated more than 4,709 cases of suspected child abuse, and provided care
for more than 19,707 area children.
    The Stand Up for Kids Award was presented at the Eaton Centre's Trinity
Square, and generously sponsored by Sears. The event marks the Toronto launch
of Child Abuse Prevention month.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: Children's Aid Society of Toronto, Catholic
Children's Aid Society, Jewish Family & Child Service, Melanie Persaud: (416)
924-4640 ext. 1-2086, mpersaud@TorontoCAS.ca; Anne Rappe: (416) 395-1506,
arrappe@ccas.on.ca; Karen Paikin: (416) 638-7800 ext. 214,
kpaikin@jfandcs.com

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