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Surrey mayor to appear on Gene Simmons' reality TV show
Last Sunday night, Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts was at the River Rock Casino, filming a scene for the Gene Simmons reality show, Family Jewels.
It was part of the real-life script for the Simmons family that day, as they prepared to launch a new child protection centre in Newton.
"All they wanted to do is film me with a meeting with Shannon (Tweed, Simmons' wife) and (daughter) Sophie prior to the opening of Sophie's Place," Watts said.
The episode is expected to air in April.
(Photo of Watts with Simmons below, at the centre opening Sunday).
Sophie Tweed-Simmons has performed a lot of child advocacy work throughout the world, Watts said, adding it's appropriate that she's involved in the Surrey initiative.
Sophie’s Place will provide physically, mentally and sexually abused children up to the age of 12 with professional, compassionate and nurturing service from doctors, police and counsellors – all under one roof.
Right now there are no firm dollars attached to the launch, but Surrey has committed resources and has expressed a need for the facility.
Watts said Tuesday about 1,000 children under the age of 16 annually in Metro Vancouver report sexual or physical abuse.
Currently, when that occurs, the kids go to a police station and give a report of what has happened.
Watts says seven police officers will be stationed at the new centre, which will be located at the Centre for Child Development at 9460 140 St.
As for funding, Watts said "we're working with the ministry of children and families to see if they can do some reallocation, or to see what their needs are."
She also noted that part of the funds raised at the annual Mayor's Gala will go toward the facility, as will donations from an annual fundraising effort by Sophie Tweed-Simmons.
Watts said the concept is taken from the Zebra Centre in Edmonton.
"That's the model," Watts said. What this does, is it gives a safe, calm environment for disclosure."
The centre is expected to open in February.
Organizations and members of the public wishing to support the cause can make a charitable donation to: Sophie’s Place Endowment Fund care of the Child Development Foundation of B.C. at: www.cdfbc.ca or via mail at #170 –7881 128 St. Surrey, BC V3W 4E7. (Charitable Tax # 133210229 RR0001).
For more information about The Centre for Child Development visit: www.cdfbc.ca.