Recently joining the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) board, Renée Pellegrino is a Destin resident who has spent the last 16 years in the area after relocating here from New York.

After spending 15-plus years as a commercial lender in the banking industry prior to children, she currently works part time for a real estate agency. Pellegrino has a Bachelor in Science in Finance from Utica College of Syracuse University and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Long-time friends with ECCAC supporters Caroline May and Shaun Eubanks, Pellegrino became familiar with the various efforts of the non-profit organization and has served on the Gala & Golf committee. Her community involvement has revolved around area school/athletic fundraising and she was an active and then sustaining member of Junior League in three states for 16 years. As well, she was a past board member for the Center for Children and Families when she lived in Shreveport, Louisiana.

“Unfortunately, approximately 1,100 cases of child sexual and physical abuse are reported annually in Okaloosa and Walton Counties, an average of three a day. I am looking forward to raising awareness of ECCAC’s mission through my contacts in the community, and I hope to help increase fundraising efforts for them,” commented Pellegrino. “Anything we can do to help impacted children is a step in the right direction.”

The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) provides services in a child-friendly environment to help identify, treat and support children in abusive situations. The non-profit organization helps prevent child abuse through education, protects child victims from future abuse, and provides resources to restore the lives of the impacted child and the child’s family. ECCAC serves Okaloosa and Walton counties and houses representatives from the Florida Department of Children and Families, Child Protection Team, State Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement, licensed mental health counselors, and ECCAC’s staff and volunteers. Over the past 18 years, ECCAC has provided more than 60,000 services at no cost to over 12,000 children.

For further information about the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, visit www.eccac.org or call 850-833-9237. If abuse is suspected, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.