Barbara Sinatra Children's Center Opens House
RANCHO MIRAGE - The open house for the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center helped to throw the doors wide open to the issue of child abuse.
"People in the community need to know what we are doing here and how we treat the children," said Barbara Sinatra, Frank Sinatra's widower.
Seventeen thousand sexually and physically abused people have found help at the center and this week's Frank Sinatra Celebrity Golf Tournament raised money to serve even more people.
"As Frank said we will not turn any one child away for a families ability to pay, so this gives us the resources to go ahead and serve those kids," said John Thorsen, the director of the Center.
The tournament has raised $8 million in the Center's 25-year history. Tournament participants and supporters toured the facility, which has become a sanctuary of sorts for abused children in the Valley.
"None of us really know what these kids are going through but these people deal with it on a daily basis and i really admire them for that and for ms. Sinatra for caring it on. It's really a beautiful thing," said Lois Cefalone of Palm Desert.
"You can understand why a child who is shut off will open up coming here. It's the right environment,"said actor Dan Lauria.
Just this year, the center has seen dozens of new child abuse cases.
"This is such an ugly subject, swept under carpet, hidden in the closet, however you want to say it and the fact that it's coming around now and people will talk about it because if we don't talk about it and tell what's happening here we'll never be able to help the children," said Barbara Sinatra.
Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.