A group has formed to honor the former Jackson County Assistant District Attorney Stephen E. Book. Booker was diagnosed with cancer in February 2012. He fought a very long and tough battle with the disease. He beat the cancer once only to be diagnosed with leukemia in August 2014. He sought treatment at MD Anderson to continue his fight, but on Feb. 25, 2015, Stephen was told there was nothing else that could be done. Stephen passed away three weeks later on March 20, 2015.
The group, which includes Booker’s wife Robin, has joined together to keep his memory alive, and as a continuation of his protection of the rights of abused and neglected children.
The Stephen E. Booker Child Abuse response team is a multidisciplinary whose mission is to facilitate better cooperation, communication and coordination between the various agencies responsible for the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse and neglect. The team approach promotes well-coordinated child abuse investigations that benefit from input of many different parties.
The family and work groups are working towards creating a nationally accredited Child Advocacy Center for Southwest Oklahoma and the entire third district. The Stephen E. Booker Child Advocacy Center would provide a child friendly environment for child abuse victims in Jackson, Greer, Harmon, Tillman and Kiowa Counties.
To help finance the Center, The Stephen E. Booker Foundation has been created to fund the Child Advocacy Center for the third Judicial District. An upcoming Benefit Dinner/Auction 5K Run will be held on Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, at the Altus Community Center and City Reservoir on Falcon Road. A brisket dinner and auction will be held on Friday starting at 5 p.m., and Saturday morning registration for the family 5K starts at 8 a.m.
Booker’s wife Robin said, “My mission is to continue to keep Stephens memory alive, and each year add activities to the benefit. Stephen loved his work, and took pride in protecting the rights of abused and neglected children.”
Businesses and community members can donate items for the auction, food or drinks, cash, checks or in-kind services. All proceeds benefit the creation of the Stephen E. Booker Child Advocacy Center.
For more information contact Officers Debbie New at deboranhealth.ok.gov or vice-chair Amanda Bernasconi at [email protected]
Other members of the group consists of Community Based Services Chair Barbara Burleson, The Jackson County Tobacco Education Committee, Chair-Kim Rumschlag, Nutrition and Fitness Task Force, Chair-Haley Rinkenbaugh, Substance Abuse Committee, Chair-Debbie New, Access to Health Care, Chair-Karen Weaver, and Community Health Team,Chair- Melanie Lesley, along with the Stephen E. Booker Child Abuse Response Team, chair-David Thomas.
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077