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Fundraiser to benefit SWFL child abuse center’s advocacy efforts

CAPE CORAL, Fla. Business owners are teaming up with a local organization to raise money for child abuse victims.

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida is working with Ana Loiselle, a certified relationship specialist, and Erik Fine of Florida’s Finest Realty to host a charity event on Saturday.

The issue is very familiar for Loiselle.

“I got involved because I personally suffered some abuse,” she said. “It’s still to the point sometimes where you go, ‘whoa, how did I get through this?'”

Child abuse is reported every 10 seconds in the United States, according to childhelp.org

Tony Lanza said he was 11-years-old when he was sexually abused by his then 25-year-old babysitter.

The inappropriate relationship continued until he was a teenager, the Cape Coral man said.

It wasn’t until 30 years later that Lanza realized he was a victim of abuse.

Although he never confronted his abuser, Lanza considers himself a survivor.

“She didn’t necessarily hurt me physically, but mentally and she took it all out of me,” he said.

The fundraising event, “From Thriving to Striving,” aims to raise at least $5,000 for the advocacy center.

The event is on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Tarpon Point Marina in Cape Coral.

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