Time to Stand Up for the Innocent

by Lori Ann LaRocco, Board of Directors, The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

This morning I was on Facebook and read a heartbreaking story of Cherish Perrywinkle, an 8 year old Florida girl who was shopping in a store with her mom and was abducted and murdered.

It’s stories like this that drove me to become part of the Rose Brucia Educational Foundation. The organization provides free stranger safety education to schools and parents around the world. One of my friends from Junior High, Matthew Barbis created the organization after his 11 year old cousin Carlie Brucia was abducted and murdered on her way home in Sarasota. Her abduction was the first ever caught on tape and created national headlines.

What I have found during my time on the board is my growing frustration with the educational and political system in this country to get such a program in place at schools. The U.S. Department of Education met with Matt and Patrick Chierichella, Rose Brucia’s Educational Coordinator a couple of years ago and they said they love the program but they can’t suggest schools in putting it in? Why not? We have the ‘no child left behind’ mandate?

I’ve personally met with Governors like Scott Walker who were interested in the program only to have the foundation knock their head against a cement wall with his lower level government workers who wouldn’t return calls or emails. A bi-partisan House Resolution created by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WY) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) to declare a stranger safety day has been sitting in the Judiciary Committee for two years now. I was told by several of my hill contacts the reason is not only because the House decided not to pass anymore resolutions because of the flagrant abuse of passing hundreds but because “We haven’t done anything in years and we don’t want to catch flak that we are passing honorary days instead of working…. Like sitting down with the senate and passing a budget.” Sigh, even our kid’s safety are caught up in the disfunction of Washington.

The time is now to protect our kids. Spread the word on how we can keep our kids safe. You don’t have to be an educator to teach these tips to your kids. The videos and the how-to’s are all there for you broken down. I’m’ Lori Ann LaRocco and I practice stranger safety with my kids- do you?

To start practicing stranger safety with your children, please visit www.rosebrucia.org/downloads today

About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation
Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.


  1. I thought of you and the foundation as soon as I heard on the news what happened. Just to many bad people out there and they have to be stopped. Putting their name on a list of molesters just isn’t enough. We need tougher Judges and Laws.

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