Take a Stand for Turning Point kicks off

CRYSTAL LAKE – Eight-year-old Alek Muellner was in the car with his mom Friday when he heard something on the radio worth spending his $20 allowance on.

Minutes later he and his mom, Cassie Muellner, were in the Sam's Club parking lot; the location of an ongoing fundraiser for McHenry County's only comprehensive domestic violence shelter and agency, Turning Point.

"I explained a little about this; how sometimes families hurt each other," Cassie Muellner said. "I told him we can go to Chase if you want and get your allowance. … He's a very charitable little boy."

Hosted by Turning Point and Star 105.5, the 2014 Take a Stand for Turning Point radiothon began at 5 a.m. Friday and will continue until 5 p.m. Saturday.

Executive Director of Turning Point Jane Farmer said she was hopeful that the organization this year would reach its $100,000 fundraising goal. Last year, the group raised a little over $80,000.

To help promote the cause, various community leaders, such as McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi and Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley, were invited to stop by and talk with Star 105.5 about domestic violence and the need to end it.

McHenry County Undersherriff Andrew Zinke said while events such as Take a Stand help spread awareness, it's the everyday activities of Turning Point that have really made a difference in the county.

"This is once a year and it highlights Turning Point, but what they do every day to help the victims of domestic violence – it's incredible. It's invaluable," Zinke said.

Turning Point last year was able to serve 1,727 adult and 204 child victims from every community in the county, according to Farmer.

It also provided a total of 5,546 nights of shelter, and wrote 624 orders of protection.

Take a Stand, Farmer said, serves as the largest fundraiser of the year, which in turn facilitates the organization's ability to carry on.

"It really works to spread awareness, which will help put an end to domestic violence," Farmer said. "This is the prime time to do that, and every dollar that gets donated goes directly to our clients."

Among the long list of events throughout the 36-hour radiothon – battle of the bands, free fitness classes, and an all night dance-a-thon, to name a few – Alek Muellner was particularly interested in the car show. More specifically, the appearance of the 1966 Batmobile from the TV series.

In exchange for his donation, and to his utter glee, Alek Muellner was allowed to sit in the front seat – a story he was excited to later tell his friends.

The 8-year-old grew serious, though, when asked if he gave the money for the Batmobile or the cause.

"No, this was for domestic violence," he said. "People are getting hurt all over the world, and it needs to stop."

For information about domestic violence and ways to get help, go to Turning Point's website.

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