- Posted August 25, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
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SVU Investigator and Celebs Fight Child Abuse with Battle of the Bands
Special Victim's Unit Child Abuse Investigator Art Salvagno and FH Ministries bring the 4th Annual Battle of the Christian Bands to Philadelphia on September 27th. Celebrity hosts and judges participate to raise awareness of child abuse.
It may seem like Salvagno never sleeps. Between the 2,500 annual child abuse cases investigated by the Philadelphia Police Department’s SVU, his roles as Worship Leader at Faith Harvest Church, and co-host of the talk radio show ‘Sunday Worship & Talk with Art & John,’ his days and nights are spent tirelessly fighting for the kids of Philadelphia.
“This is all about the children,” states Salvagno in regards to the annual event. “It’s just good clean fun, fellowship and entertainment. Why wouldn’t anyone enjoy a night of this?”
In the American Idol-like contest, seven bands will compete at Temple University’s Performing Arts Center for the honor of being named the 2014 Top Christian Band. The prize includes six hours of professional studio recording time with mastering to produce a finished CD that will be sent to major Christian music publishers.
According to John Accunzo, co-host of S.W.a.T. and artist relations liaison for the event, the acoustics at The Performing Arts Center ensure a night of beautiful music. “Lew Klein Hall is perfect for this event since there is no echo or bounce,” he proclaims. “What you hear will be pure with plenty of vocal intelligibility—which is most important as Christian music is more about the message contained in the lyrics than just how cool the front man is or the guitar solos are.”
William Luff, a teacher at Temple, is the Production Manager for The Performing Arts Center. He is no stranger to major musical events, having toured with one of the most respected groups in contemporary Christian music today, “Casting Crowns.” Luff has more than thirty-five years of professional touring experience and understands that Christian music can deliver what could very well be a life-changing message of hope.
For this reason, the seven groups competing in the Battle of the Christian Bands are carefully selected by Accunzo. “Not every band who applies is accepted,” he states. The event showcases many diverse styles of Christian music. “Only the best musicians are accepted as this event has the potential to garner national attention,” relays Accunzo.
Proceeds benefit Philadelphia Children's Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes healing and justice for child sexual abuse victims in Philadelphia. The PCA coordinates services with DHS, SVU and the DA’s office so a child does not have to tell their story multiple times to each agency, reducing the need to relive the horror of what happened to them over and over. The agencies that handle the abuse reports are all located under one roof.
Salvagno explains, “It’s here at the PCA that the complainant or victim child relives the traumatic event one time only as he or she is interviewed by professionally trained Forensic Interview Specialists in one room, as our team of law enforcement, victim advocates and social workers observe the same interview, live, in another room via mirror or monitor.”
Chris Kirchner, MSW, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Children's Alliance, summed up the need for their services in a past interview. “Children were often questioned at a police station or at home, sometimes in the very home where the abuser live,” Kirchner stated. “Even as awareness and intervention improved, children were often forced to relive the trauma as they were questioned by multiple agencies in multiple settings over several days.”
Kirchner joins a panel of celebrity judges and the audience to vote for a winner in this year’s Battle.
The judges have a strong connection to children’s causes.
JR Rickert, a well-known sports and entertainment agent, won the 2014 LLS Man of the Year title for his efforts to raise funds for children fighting leukemia. “I'm excited to be a part of this event and to serve as a guest judge,” stated Rickert.
Celebrity judge Doreen Taylor, the multiple award winning singer-songwriter, has donated proceeds from her music to help children throughout her career. This year, the songstress collaborated with the National Parks Conservation Association on a new national anthem in honor of the US National Parks, ‘Colors of the USA.’ Just recently, she was honorably named “Ambassador to the National Parks Conservation Association.” A Temple University Alumni, Taylor looks forward to going back to her Alma Matter. “This will be my first professional appearance on campus since I went to Temple,” she said.
Continuing her support of abused children, celebrity judge and Junction Music CEO Daine Zaiko donates the evening’s top prize, as she has done in the past. Zaiko is a voting member of NARAS (the organization responsible for the Grammy’s) as well as the Philadelphia Folksong Society.
Salvagno invited singer and author Terrance Tykeem to host the 4th Annual Battle of the Christian Bands after both men appeared at a recent panel discussion in North Philadelphia based on Tykeem’s book, song and upcoming film entitled ‘Touched.’ The video will be shown during the event. For more on Terrance Tykeem, see http://www.we-stand-up.org/
Radio’s Scott Evans from station WLEV 100.7 returns to emcee the show. He is a strong supporter of child abuse awareness. Evans believes music can reach all people to help support children who are victims of sexual abuse.
Tickets for this year’s event can be purchased online, and donations are being accepted through GoFundMe.
For more information, visit: http://bocb.org