Healing Garden Approved in Memory of Children Taken by Abuse

- FREDERICK, Md. - In the past seven months, three children in Frederick County have lost their lives to severe child abuse. Many are saying it's three children too many, and now city and county officials are joining forces to commemorate those children who lost their lives.

"The community, the folks who work with children, the professionals were all devastated so we decided we needed a place to have it be a public way to acknowledge how important our children are," said Lynn Davis, director with the Child Advocacy Center of Frederick County.

With approval from the city, Friends of the Child Advocacy Center will develop a healing garden at Bonita Maas Park. The garden will provide a safe space for people to remember loved ones lost. For Cathy Sipocz, the development of the garden is personal. After the untimely death of 21-month-old Anayah Williams, Sipocz and three friends co-founded Anayah's Advocates to make sure Anayah's passing was not in vain. Sipocz said the garden will help Anayah's friends and family cope the loss.

"We're all really happy that they're going to be able to come to a place like this and have shared memories together and a quiet atmosphere," said Sipocz.

The garden will also feature a whispering bench that will allow children to whisper messages.

"It provides a form of therapy. They can whisper something in there that they can't say directly to you," said Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak, with the city of Frederick.

A message that can hopefully help put an end to child abuse.

Friends of the Child Advocacy Center are hoping to have the project completed by this fall.

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