Caring House speaker at Golden K

Golden K Program Chairwoman Orice Walters, left, introduces guest speaker Melissa Lantto, Caring House sexual assault response team coordinator.

KINGSFORD — The Dickinson Area Golden K welcomed a bright, sunny morning, even as they braved a zero-degree temperature Monday. They were happy to warm up by singing some golden oldies before the start of the meeting.

Bringing the ivory piano keys to life was Alyce Derwinski, with Jim Verrette announcing the songs to sing.

March chairman Gil Engel put the gavel to the Golden K bell and the meeting began. The “Welcome Song” was sung for guest speaker Melissa Lantto and “Happy Anniversary” for Sue and Gary Proudfit. The Pot of Gold was won by Lee Lindstrom.

A thought for the day by Ingrid Bergman was read: “Getting old is like climbing a mountain; You get a little out of breath, but the view is much better.”

Lantto, of the Caring House in Iron Mountain, was introduced by Golden K program chairwoman Orice Walters.

Lantto is the sexual assault response team coordinator at the Caring House, which is a safe place for domestic violence victims and provides sexual assault services for adults and children.

Lantto thanked the Golden K Club for their annual donation to the Caring House.

She explained the services provided for victims and the newly established Child Advocacy Center. They are appreciative of a grant that has helped them set up a much-needed safe place for talking with and counseling abused children.

A qualified professional child advocate forensic interviewer recently wa was hired. Prior to this, some victims had to travel 50 miles, but now they can be counseled and interviewed here.

Volunteers are needed. Those who have a passion for helping others might sit with other children during the interview process or give listening support to a parent while the interview is happening. Volunteers would need to fill out a brief application form and have a background check. There are many opportunities for helping and volunteering at the Caring House.

The Caring House advocates and the child center for sexually abused children work in partnership with all local law enforcement, prosecutors and the hospital. Child sexual assault and abuse many times involves a person close to the child who asks that it be kept secret.

Lantto responded to several questions at the end of the presentation.

The club thanks Lantto for taking time to help inform and educate the Golden K and public on the more recent addition of the Child Advocacy Center for abused children.

The club meets every Monday morning at the First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford. Meetings are from 10 to 11 a.m. with coffee and donuts. New members are always welcome.

The Golden Throats will sing at 2 p.m. Wednesday at ManorCare in Kingsford.