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Fundraiser To Support Bikers Against Child Abuse



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Note: Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) members do not use their full names. Because they are empowering children who have been abused, abusers or those who support them may decide to target BACA members. All road names are kid-friendly and many come from cartoons or children's stories.

Exhaust pipes rumbling through town around noon on July 9 near VFW Post 308, 18 Tinkerfield Road, will be a sign that helping hands have arrived. From noon to 8 pm that day will be the Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) Western Connecticut Open House. BACA

recently began a local chapter to broaden its reach in Connecticut and the public is welcome to attend the chapter's first fundraiser.

Tickets are $10 per person. Guests that afternoon can enjoy hamburgers, refreshments and a 50/50 raffle. All proceeds benefit the recently organized Western CT BACA Chapter in its efforts to help abused children.

Bands performing that afternoon are Last Train and 5 Car Pile Up, along with an acoustic performer filling in between sets. BACA merchandise will be available along with several other vendors supporting the cause.

All proceeds will go toward helping the wounded children; according to a flyer announcing the event, many require therapy to deal with the trauma they have experienced, which can be expensive. Contact chapter President Irish BACA at 203-969-8130 or call 860-966-6606.

Irish had first spoken with

The Newtown Bee in August 2015, about his organization's effort to establish a local chapter. Every new BACA chapter must go through a "Temp Charter" period of at least one full year.

The Western CT Chapter met that one-year requirement in March 2016, he said.

"Presently we are awaiting our official chapter recognition from BACA International," he said. When a Temp Chapter reaches full recognition, its officers get "patched-in" to earn their full member status and receive their BACA back patches, Irish said.

Last August, Irish had said, "Starting a chapter in Newtown will help us do a better job of reaching abused kids in Connecticut." The state mother chapter is in Brooklyn, Conn. This new chapter has been formed "to better manage the state as a whole." With chapters in most states across the country, these bikers are part of an international organization that also has chapters in Australia, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand and Germany.

Regarding the new chapter, Irish said, "Many of us were already well on our way to being patched prior to the creation of the new Western CT Chapter. Because of this, the new chapter already consists of all fully patched members. I'm told this is the first time this has ever happened and we are pretty proud of it," he said.

While membership is growing, the organization does not want to grow too quickly.

"Our training is extensive and every new person goes through a sponsorship until fully patched," Irish said.

"We are indeed bikers and we are looking for fellow bikers, those that show up when needed without excuse, period."

He said, "We want those who understand our mission. Our kids are depending on us and we will not let them down. BACA is definitely not for everyone, it's a huge commitment."

He said he has heard many fellow BACA members say "it was a calling."

"I truly believe this," Irish said. "Everyone is against child abuse; not everyone is doing something about it; we are."

How BACA Works

BACA International, Inc is organized with a central contact person to receive calls from referring agencies and individuals. A recognized, authorized agency with which the child has had contact determines that the child is still frightened by his or her environment. The agency representative contacts BACA, or refers the individual to contact BACA and the name and address of the child is given to the BACA/child liaison.

During his previous interview with

The Bee, Irish had explained that BACA "adopts" the children, making them a part of the protective group.

The process starts when a family contacts BACA through its hotline regarding a child. BACA then needs confirmation of a case.

"When a family calls our hotline, they have an issue, either the child has been abused and is in court, or child services; it has to be documented. We need to know there is a case," said Irish, at which point, "We'll get involved."

BACA's involvement "comes down to one thing: we are there to empower the child so the child feels safe. Often the offenders are out [of jail] or harassing the family in some way."

BACA will send two members to meet the family and explain what they do "and see if the fit makes sense, meets criteria," Irish said. Members will next meet the child.

"We all ride in on bikes," he said. "We give them a little vest and let them know that 'you're with us now,' and you can call us any time."

The BACA efforts are a 24-hour endeavor.

Learn more about the organization and how to reach out for help at bacaworld.org.

The Western Connecticut chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse will host an open house/fundraiser Saturday, July 9. The public is invited to enjoy refreshments and live entertainment, take a chance on a raffle, and learn more about the non-profit organization dedicated to protecting children.
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