The Helen Carrocci Award
The Helen Carrocci Award was established in 2011 to honor the memory of Mrs. Helen Carrocci. As the first president of A Caring Place, Helen was a driving force in establishing Jefferson County’s first child advocacy center. In 1957, Helen embarked on her personal charge to serve our local youth as she started a Girls Scout and Brownie troop at St. Anthony’s Church in downtown Steubenville. Helen was later hired as a Jefferson County Sheriff Deputy in the 1980s, becoming the lead investigator in the county’s child abuse cases. Although she was just over five feet tall, Helen’s small stature was a “misunderstanding” when one was confronted by her towering tenacity in protecting the young of Jefferson County. She continued in this role for 10 years.
After retirement as a deputy, she remained active in her mission to protect children. In 1994 Helen volunteered in helping form and chair the county’s first multidisciplinary team (MDT). The MDT is the working group of professionals from the agencies that deal with child abuse.
From 2000 – 2005, Helen also voluntarily served as the vice-president and later as president of Jefferson County’s Children Services Board. She worked as president until the board’s responsibilities were later relinquished. Though her bones and muscles may have grown somewhat brittle over those years, the heart of her mission only burned more brightly through her efforts. She recruited enough support and raised community awareness to be a key instrumental piece in establishing A Caring Place in 2002.
Later on, as president of A Caring Place’s Board, Helen oversaw the center’s movement to becoming its own, nonprofit agency. Furthermore, Helen worked hard to contact others within the community and gain their support during those first “toddler” years as a center. Her work was highly effective in raising funds for the center to continue its services.
Helen was Helen, and if it were up to her, she wouldn’t have wished us to make such a fuss over her. For Helen, her reward was not earthly; her reward for all her suffering and sacrifices was that she had fully followed the burning mission of her heart to be an advocate for our children.