(Nov. 9, 2018) More than $25,000 was raised on Oct. 24 during an annual fundraiser for the Cricket Center held at the Hobbit in Ocean City.

The center, based in Berlin, is the only child advocacy center for sexually and physically abused children in Worcester County.

Since opening in 2009, the center helped produce more than 1,000 years of jail time for child sex offenders.

In 2016, the center reviewed 92 local cases, logged 472 hours of trauma therapy with victims and identified 31 sex offenders.

Cricket Center Executive Director Wendy Myers said the fundraiser went off without a hitch.

“It was extraordinary,” she said. “We had such a great crowd and they were so focused on our mission and wanting to hear about the program, and everybody had a great time. The Full Circle Duo was fantastic and the food at The Hobbit, obviously, is amazing. It was just a great event and we raised a lot of money.”

Myers said money raised during the event would go directly toward services offered at the center.

“If there’s equipment needs or needs that children and families have – anything they might need – we can help provide that,” she said. “We also sometimes use some of that money for staff training.”

Myers said the overall number of clients at the Cricket Center are on the rise, with the number of teen victims noticeably higher during the last six months.

“I don’t know if that is due to increased reporting or actually increased victimization,” she said. “We just don’t know that because, obviously, if it’s not reported we don’t know about it. But, we certainly have seen a drastic increase in those teen victims.”

Cricket Center

Handprints on wall tiles represent each child served by the Cricket Center in Berlin. Tiles were placed on tables during a recent fundraiser at The Hobbit restaurant for the nonprofit child advocacy center.

Prosecutorial statistics are also increasing, she said.

“We have enjoyed some very successful prosecutions recently and we are awaiting trial for multiple victims right now,” Myers said. “Certainly, our states attorney’s office is working really hard to make sure they’re prosecuting these cases.”

For more information or to donate to the Cricket Center, call 410-641-0097 or visit www.thecricketcenter.com.

“They can give us a call and come in for a tour. They can donate directly through our website. They can mail a check to our P.O. box. There are lots of ways to help out,” Myers said.

Up next, the center will cohost the annual “Shop with a Cop” event with Maryland State Police on Dec. 15.

Josh Davis is an MDDC award-winning editor and reporter at the Bayside Gazette and Ocean City Today newspapers, covering Berlin and Ocean Pines, Maryland. He is the author of three novels, including 'Vanishing is the Last Art' (2012). He lives in Berlin.

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