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Gasport family organizes motocross race to raise awareness for child abuse

BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Gasport family teamed up with Bikers Against Child Abuse Saturday to organize a motocross race. Their goal was to raise awareness for child abuse and to let parents know what resources are available.

“I don’t think there will ever be a finish line,” said Mallory Bumpers-Wojewoda, whose daughter, Charlee, was abused at a former daycare in Newfane. “My voice is very loud and I want other families to know they’re not the only ones who have gone through this and it is OK to reach out, it is OK to talk vocally about it.”

Motocross racing is a large part of Charlee’s family. She often watches it on YouTube with her father or brother.

On two wheels, Charlee can be the outgoing that kid that she is, but it hasn’t always been this way for the four-year-old.

Two years ago, Charlee attended the former Sweet Angels Daycare. Bumpers-Wojewoda said she would come home with bruises, which prompted a police investigation. The investigation led to an arrest of a former daycare employee who was charged with harassment, orders of protection, fines and community service.

“She is only four, but we’ve always let her express her emotions — there’s no reason that she can’t — and to vocalize what happened to her,” Bumpers-Wojewoda said. “But now we’re showing her [with] what happened to her, we can create something bigger with that, we can create awareness.”

The Wojewoda family organized the Race Against Child Abuse at the Area 51 Motocross race track in Batavia. Money raised at the event went toward the non-profit BACA.

“We work with abused children — physically, sexually, emotionally abused children,” said Kidd Smith, a member of BACA. “Our goal is to empower them and let them be a kid again, give them their life back.”

Bumpers-Wojewoda said the organization has helped Charlee tremendously.

“It’s been a long 18 months,” she said. “The BACA members — she’s dedicated to two primaries. They are at our house every three weeks like clockwork. They’ve really helped her come out of her shell.”

Bumper-Wojewoda’s ultimate goal is to work with lawmakers to create legislation that protects children from abuse. She said there needs to be changes and better resources for families affected by child abuse.

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Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.

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