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Utah News

Steppin' Up for Kids event pays tribute to victims of child abuse in Cache County

Rows of children's shoes placed in rows on the steps of the Cache County Courthouse.
Anna Johnson
/
UPR
Shoes, representing victims of child abuse in Cache County, line the steps of the Cache County Courthouse

Standing behind rows and rows of children’s shoes, each representing a victim of child abuse in Cache County, Executive Director of the Family Place Utah, Sheryl Goodey, welcomed community members and volunteers to reflect on resilience.

“It is an opportunity for us to recognize the substantiated child abuse cases in Cache County, and we had over 350 last year. It was also a chance for us to learn from others that have been through hard times and how to increase resilience in our homes and within ourselves so that we can prepare for hard times,” Goodey said.

Guest speakers Deserae and April Turner know all about resilience. The Turner family has overcome incredible challenges since Deserae was shot in the head and left for dead more than 5 years ago. They relied on their “Team Turner,” a family, Deserae said, whose ties extend far beyond just blood.

“Anybody can be your family. It's those who care for you and you care for them,” Deserae Turner said.

April, Deserae’s mother, focused on the strength of family and community in her remarks.

“Team stands for together, everyone achieves more. We always try to work as a team and tried to make our family a team,” April Turner said.

Goodey says building resilience takes patience and work but it can be built up before hard times hit.

“Everyone's going to go through something hard, whatever that might be, individually or within their family. That resilience is being able to bounce back some time afterward to be able to get back to that new normal,” Goodey said.

The Family Place Utah and its volunteers have relied on resilience over the last two years to continue their work through the COVID-19 pandemic, but things are slowly returning to normal. They are holding their 17th annual Blue Ribbon Benefit Dinner and Auction on April 30.

For more information, visit https://thefamilyplaceutah.org.