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Hampstead 'friend-raiser' brings out bowlers in support of Family and Children's Services

Sarah Sackett, 2, tries bowling with a little help during the "Bowl a Spare and Show You Care" event at Green Mount Bowling Center Sunday.
Sarah Sackett, 2, tries bowling with a little help during the "Bowl a Spare and Show You Care" event at Green Mount Bowling Center Sunday. (KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

HAMPSTEAD-Community members bowled a spare to show they care Sunday at six Family and Children's Services bowling events across Central Maryland, including one at Greenmount Bowling Center in Hampstead. The event was held to raise awareness about child abuse prevention and intervention during Child Abuse Prevention Month.

"This is not so much of a fundraiser and as it is a friend-raiser," said Katie Cashman, director of Carroll County programs for FCS.

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The event was held last year in a single location in Towson and was such a hit, Cashman said, that the organization expanded the event to include bowling sites in all six Central Maryland jurisdictions. About 30 tickets had already been sold in Carroll before supportive citizens took to the lanes on Sunday afternoon. Several clients from FCS's elder care program also joined in the fun of knocking down pins and handing out high fives all around.

"We love Family and Children's Services and everything they do for the community," said Adrian Thomas, who came to the event with her husband, mother, sister and other extended family. "People really need them. It's a hard job, but somebody has to do it," she said.

Sarah Sackett, Thomas' 1-year-old niece, enjoyed her first bowling experience, using a ramp to roll the ball down the lane.

"Kids are extremely precious," said Amanda Sackett as she watched her daughter revel in the family time.

Sackett said her family does whatever it can to support abused children, and she is a fan of FCS's education services. She said sometimes parents just need to be taught how to be parents.

FCS offers therapy and counseling to children and families who are experiencing the effects of emotional, sexual or physical abuse. Lynette Connelly is an FCS therapist.

"Events like this give us an opportunity to tell people what we do," said Connelly.

Individuals who have issues or questions or just want to talk about experiences related to abuse should call FCS, Connelly said. She said the organization may be able to help or connect the caller with someone who can help.

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