Delta Pilots Charitable Fund donates $150,000 to Community for Children’s Justice
The Community for Children’s Justice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to securing a standalone facility for the Summit County Children’s Justice Center, received a $150,000 donation over the weekend. The organization announced that the money will help cover a substantial portion of an initial down payment for a property at the Silver Summit junction.
The contribution from the Delta Pilots Charitable Fund was awarded to representatives of the Community for Children’s Justice on Saturday. County Attorney Margaret Olson, along with Ted Walker, with the Division of Child and Family Services, and Tracey Tabet, an administrator within the Utah Attorney General’s Office, were also present.
Harry Kirschner, vice president of the Community for Children’s Justice, said the donation is critical for supporting the Summit County community, especially the victims and families that are served through the center.
“The reason that the CJC exists is to find a place for these children and families to go to begin both seeking justice and ensuring ultimately that their story is heard and the perpetrator is prosecuted,” he said. “This is a place where a family can begin their journey of healing.”
Summit County’s Children’s Justice Center is part of the Utah Attorney General’s Office’s Children’s Justice program. It is one of 23 state-run facilities providing child-focused programs and operates under the auspices of the County Attorney’s Office.
The Children’s Justice Center opened its doors in 2012 and often also serves victims outside of Summit County, including victims in Wyoming. Officials with the Justice Center interview children and teenagers under 18 years old who have been victimized by abuse. The Children’s Justice Center is located in the Sheldon Richins Building in Kimball Junction. The entrance is located next to the Division of Motor Vehicles office.
Kirschner said Community for Children’s Justice is expecting to close on a property in October. It is located on Silver Summit Parkway, adjacent to the southbound U.S. 40 on-ramp. The property has been recognizable as a place where several animals could often be seen roaming the hillside next to the highway, including a zebra and a buffalo.
“This particular property kind of meets all of the needs, and the sellers of that house have been incredible working with us,” he said. “This space is private and even though it is in more of a neighborhood, it has its own entrance. It is sort of more comfortable than taking the child to a police station. It feels like home.”
Several properties have been explored as potential sites for the Children’s Justice Center’s facility. But, Kirschner said it was difficult to find one that was private, near public transportation and affordable.
It will cost roughly $600,000 to renovate the home to include interview and medical exam rooms, as well as a reception area and other necessary spaces. Kirschner said the organization hopes to raise $2.27 million for the renovations, as well as the creation of an endowment to keep the facility operational. About $500,000 is already committed.
“We are hoping the visibility behind this grant from the Delta Pilots will encourage other corporations and families to donate,” he said. “We are viewing this as an anchor contribution.”
Delta pilots established the fund in 1999 as a way to “give back to the communities we live in,” according to Tina Coombs, chairman of the fund and a Park City resident.
“We selected the Children’s Justice Center because their need was overwhelming,” she said. “Their work helping people and children who are abused right here in our own community is profound. These funds will help lay the groundwork for a new facility where children can feel safe and tell their story and begin to heal.”
Operations for the state’s children’s justice centers are supported through the Utah Legislature, local government funding, federal grant funding and private donations, Tabet said in an email.
“Certainly the generous donation from the Delta Pilots Charitable Fund represents the critical role that the private sector plays in ensuring that victims have a safe, child-focused setting where they can find justice and healing,” she said.
The Community for Children’s Justice is scheduled to go before the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission on Tuesday to request a conditional-use permit to convert the home into a facility for child abuse victims. The matter is scheduled to be heard at 4:30 p.m. at the Sheldon Richins Building. Public comment will likely be accepted.
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