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PACS Senior Named 'Volunteer of the Year' by Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, Raises $5,000 to Help Child Victims of Abuse and Assault

The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County is recognizing a Pulaski Academy & Central School District student whose senior project, a dual fundraiser for the nonprofit, was so impactful that it inspired a local couple to match the donations dollar for dollar.


Senior Zoë Eisel last week was named Volunteer of the Year by the CAC for her efforts in raising a combined $2,459.98 through Krispy Kreme donut sales and a “Pulaski Performs!” Facebook Live concert that attracted some 2,500 spectators.


“I was absolutely astonished and couldn’t have asked for a better project for someone to pick,” CAC Executive Directory Tory DeCaire said. “She did an a fantastic job.”


The goal of her project, Eisel said, was to raise awareness of the organization’s mission to support children who are victims of trauma and sexual and physical abuse, while providing healing to them and their families. She also wanted to improve the ambiance of the organization’s satellite office in Pulaski to make it more welcoming to children and is working with the nonprofit’s staff to choose new artwork and pieces for the room.


“The opportunity to make more people in the community aware of the CAC and the helpful programs it offers is really fulfilling,” she said. “I’m really happy with how it turned out.”


Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes and his wife Karen, who are longtime supporters of the CAC and often sponsor fundraising events, told Eisel last week they are matching the money she raised dollar for dollar to reach the $5,000 mark.


“I learned about Zoë's senior project recently and thought it was incredible to see a young person put other children at the forefront,” Oakes said. “During this time and pandemic when so many people are struggling just to take care of themselves, for her to have the forethought and consideration to look out for other kids is commendable.”


Oakes has worked with the CAC long enough through various positions within the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office that, today, he recognizes child victims in cases he once prosecuted who are now successful young adults in their 20s with careers and families.


“I know it’s due to the work of the CAC and the counseling and support services they received,” he said. “They help kids not just to survive, but to thrive.”


Eisel plans to attend St. Bonaventure University after graduation for an undeclared major.