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The spotlight was on Project Harmony this week as more than 1100 people gathered for the first "Speaking of Children" luncheon.
It was my privilege to serve as emcee and the event underscored again why Project Harmony is a such tremendous asset for our community. The organization was formed in 1996 to serve abused children and 156 children were helped in that initial outreach.
Last year Project Harmony served more than 2000 children. It's both a testament to the organization's effectiveness and the sad fact that there are so many children that are at risk.
I spoke with Father Steven Boes of Boys Town who is familiar with similar programs in other communities around the nation. He emphatically calls Project Harmony "the best." It is so effective because it blends a number of services together in treating a child. Medical professionals, counselors, investigators and prosecutors work in conjunction on each case to ease the discomfort of the child who needs help and pursue justice.
The featured speaker for the luncheon, John Walsh of America's Most Wanted fame, also speaks highly of Project Harmony. He toured the facilities prior to the luncheon and was so impressed he told the packed house at the Qwest Center that Project Harmony a model for other communities to emulate.
Gene Klein is the executive of Project Harmony and in his quiet, unassuming way, has developed a gem that sparkles in our community. It is worthy of support and there are several events coming up that offer that opportunity. "Hops for Harmony" is schedule for April 10th and it's sponsored by the Papillion Lion's Club. And the Prarie Life Fitness "Project Harmony Golf Invitational" that Dave Webber and I are always involved with takes place this year on June 3rd at Indian Creek Golf Course. You can learn more at www.projectharmony.com.
We are fortunate to have such dedicated professionals in our community who are advocates for children.