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Angels in the Outfield, a local nonprofit organization seeking to brighten the lives of children impacted by crime, abuse or neglect, has scheduled its annual Founder’s Day Dinner and Auction for April 12 at the Abernethy Center, 605 15th St., Oregon City.

Shannon Kmetic, who founded the organzation in 2009, wants to see the organization’s significant growth over the last few years continue through more people referring people in need to the Angels’ services.

“We receive referrals from school counselors, foster parents, DHS workers, grandparents or anyone that thinks that a child can benefit from services that we provide,” Kmetic said. “To give you some examples, we have paid for tutoring, counseling, sports fees, sports equipment, rent, dance classes, singing lessons, martial arts, clothing, shoes, jackets, etc.”

The OC resident was inspired to start the organization when she prosecuted a case involving a girl whose father repeatedly raped her on videotape between the ages of 9 and 12. Kmetic started in Josephine County District Attorney Office and came to Clackamas County in 1998. She prosecuted domestic violence, child sex-abuse cases and person crimes that frequently affected her personally, but the videotape case in particular prompted starting Angels.

“She was about my daughter’s age at the time I was prosecuting the case,” Kmetic recalled. “Her dad went to prison for the rest of his life. Mom was never a resource for her and was out of state.”

While Kmetic was pleased with the prison sentence, she felt like something more had to be done for the child, so she sent her and her foster family to Disneyland.

Kmetic grew up in Milwaukie playing softball with a supportive father who was also a coach.

“So Angels in the Outfield is essentially a reference to my softball days, and my father who died at the age of 50 from a heart attack is an angel to me,” she said.

Angels are currently procuring auction items and seeking reservations for the event. More information is available at theangelsintheoutfield.org.

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