KISS rocker Gene Simmons and family were on hand Sunday to open the region’s first child protection centre in Surrey.
The centre will be located within The Centre for Child Development building in Surrey, a facility which currently provides programs and services for more than 2,000 children with severe developmental disabilities annually.
Sophie’s Place will provide physically, mentally and sexually abused children up to the age of 12 with professional, compassionate and nurturing service from doctors, police and counsellors, all under one roof.
The facility will bring together a team of RCMP officers, Ministry of Child and Family Services representatives, medical and trauma screening professionals and volunteer advocates, providing highly specialized care in a child-friendly atmosphere.
Sophie Tweed-Simmons, daughter of legendary music artist Gene Simmons, frontman of the rock group KISS, became involved in the project to develop a facility of this kind following a meeting with Mayor Dianne Watts.
An active participant in the process, Tweed-Simmons aided with the construction of the centre and will act as the patron to the facility that bears her name.
“I am so excited to be part of what The Centre for Child Development is doing,” said Tweed-Simmons. “I am especially honoured that Sophie’s Place will be an umbrella for children where they can go to find help, feel safe and just hang out in an environment where they can be heard, understood and respected – as all children should be.
“I have been blessed growing up in a house where I am treated as an equal and with love, the least I can do is help show children that that can be a possibility for everyone.”
As of yet, there is no financial donation from the Tweed-Simmons family. The facility will be built with donations from the community, and operations will come from a reallocation of resources within the existing centre. Sophie’s Place will operate as a separate arm under the umbrella of The Child Development Centre and will be located within the facility’s second-floor building.
Organizations and members of the public wishing to support this important cause can make a charitable donation to: Sophie’s Place Endowment Fund care of the Child Development Foundation of British Columbia at: www.cdfbc.ca or via mail at #170B – 7881 128 St. Surrey, BC V3W 4E7. (Charitable Tax # 133210229 RR0001) For more information about the City of Surrey visit www.surrey.ca. For more information about The Centre for Child Development visit: www.cdfbc.ca.