Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero of the Month

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- On the first Sunday of every month, Hughes and Coleman will choose a previously recognized Hometown Hero to receive a $500 check for their favorite charity or organization, honoring them as the Hughes and Coleman Hero of the Month.

This month, Hughes and Coleman have selected Dr. Patricia Faulkner-Simmons with the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center.

"This month, we've selected Dr. Patricia Faulker Simmons as a previous Hometown Hero, Hero of the Month," said Andrew Coleman, Hughes and Coleman.

"Thank you very much, it is an honor for me to accept this," said Dr. Simmons.

Dr. Patricia (Patti) Faulkner-Simmons could be described as the light for a child in their darkest time

"Sexual abuse is something that has been hidden so much over the past years but is now coming more to the surface and now we can handle it better by having these child advocacy centers," said Dr. Faulkner-Simmons

According to Jennifer Bryant at the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center, "We served over 600 children last year, I think even one is far too many."

For nearly 20 years Dr. Faulkner-Simmons has been volunteering for the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center.

"I have been evaluating children who have either been alleged, who have been alleged to be child abused sexually or also for children who are suspected to have been sexually abused," Dr. Faulkner-Simmons.

It is a job that is emotionally taxing and difficult but a fight worth fighting.

"You know it's been something like I said has been a calling for me. Its been very rewarding to me to be able to help the children of our community," claimed Dr. Faulkner-Simmons.

"She really provides that expertise for us and helps our staff work through these heart-wrenching cases when children come here. She helps the children be at ease and helps us lead these children to healing which is a big part of what we do here at the Child Advocacy Center," according to Jennifer Bryant.

Dr. Faulkner-Simmons explains, "Sometimes I cry with them, but you know you've done good by doing what you do."

Though Dr. Faulkner-Simmons has retired from her pediatric job, she continues to impact and inspire many lives in our community.

"She's been a pediatrician to countless children in our community I'm always running into individuals who say oh I love her she was just so wonderful to my children. She helped mentor a new doctor to volunteer here at the center so that we can continue that work," according to Bryant.

That work does continue as the Child Advocacy Center continues to expand new ways to reach our community. One of these newer ways is through Over The Edge.

Jennifer Bryant explains, "Over the Edge is one of our biggest fundraisers becoming a signature event for the center where we ask people, as you well know, to repel over the edge of Stadium Park Plaza. So its just five stories ans we say its to change their story."

They are changing their stories by going over the edge, by providing support, and letting kids know it is ok to speak out.

"They are doing the right thing by telling that they have been abused. I let them know that it's not their fault, " Dr. Faulkner-Simmons said.

Dr. Faulkner-Simmons claimed, "I don't feel like I deserve a reward its just what I like to do.