Oakmont Student Starts "Got Balls" Program to Help Juvenile Victims of Crime
October 28, 2014
R. Scott Owens
PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
Date: October 20, 2014
Assistant District Attorney
(Pictured left to right: Scott Owens, Placer County District Attorney; Jeff Wilson, Assistant District Attorney; Mallory Mason, Oakmont High School Student; and Fiona Tuttle, MDIC Coordinator)
Oakmont High School Junior, 17 year old Mallory Mason, has always wanted to do something to make a difference in the lives of children. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was a reminder of innocence interrupted, and when a teacher challenged Mallory’s class to take a dream and put it into action, Mallory decided to take her love of sports and help children in need. Armed with flyers to share with her soccer team, friends at school, and distribute at her parent’s offices, Mallory started a 30 day challenge to collect sports balls for the children seen at the Placer Multi-Disciplinary Center (MDIC), an organization where children are interviewed as victims or witnesses of felony crimes. “I hoped to collect twenty-six balls in memory of the children and teachers at Sandy Hook and was so excited to deliver 108 balls to MDIC. It was great!” exclaimed Mallory. The delivery included footballs, soccer balls, basketballs, volleyballs, foursquare balls, and even a Frisbee. “Knowing what those kids have to go through when they are ready to talk about tough situations is really hard, but giving them something to keep their mind off it helps”. Placer District Attorney, Scott Owens, and the administrator of the MDIC Program, Fiona Tuttle, were overwhelmed by the generosity of the donors, but also struck by the thoughtfulness of Mallory to take on a service project on her own and give back to the community. Scott Owens stated “It is an inspiration to see a teen like Mallory helping others going through a difficult time and making it a bit easier.”
The MDIC Program in Placer County is a vital component of the investigation of these vulnerable victims in our county, and all disciplines continue to believe in and support this method of a collaborative investigation of child abuse. Placer County’s Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center opened in October, 1993 as a collaboration of the Placer County District Attorney’s Office (including Victim Witness and the Sexual Assault Response Team (S.A.R.T.)); Placer County Family and Children’s Services (Child Protective Services); Children’s System of Care (C.S.O.C.); Placer County Sheriff’s Department; Auburn Police Department; Rocklin Police Department; Roseville Police Department; Lincoln Police Department; and KidsFirst, formerly the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Placer County.
MDIC provides not just the basics of the investigation, but an enhanced service during what is usually the child and family’s darkest experience. Placer County has made a commitment for the past twenty years to offer program support, and all disciplines and agencies have come together to join forces in a true multi-disciplinary collaborative response to allegations of child abuse.
In 2013 over one hundred and fifty children, both victims and witnesses of felony child abuse, were interviewed at MDIC.