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Lovey James rocking the halls for a cause

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Event encourages youth to speak out against violence

This story has been updated from its original version.SPOKESMAN PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Singer and Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA)  alumna Lovely James put on a concert for ORCA students and their families gathered for a Childhelp anti-bullying and violence event at Bullwinkles.

Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA), the Wilsonville Family Fun Center and singer Lovey James teamed up March 3 for an afternoon of music to benefit anti-bullying and child abuse nonprofit Childhelp.

ORCA students and family members were invited to learn more about Childhelp's "Speak Up Be Safe" program that teaches children how to prevent and push back against bullying and abusive situations.

"Keeping kids safe at school and at afterschool events is critical," said Bullwinkles & Family Fun Center owner Darren Harmon. "Having programs at school to help with this is important. The ideas of no tolerance for bullying at school is also important. Giving teachers the tools to achieve this goal would be great."

Former American Idol contestant, ORCA alumna and Childhelp Ambassador Lovey James followed the Childhelp presentation with a concert to raise money for the nonprofit.

The cause of anti-bullying is near and dear to James' heart after being bullied as a child and after meeting a 2-year-old girl that her aunt fostered and nursed back to health after being abused.

"The biggest shock for me was that this precious girl was being abused daily by her mom and the mom's boyfriend," James said. "There were also two older brothers who witnessed the abuse, but didn't understand it was not OK. The boys went to school every day and didn't talk about the horrors going on at home, because they were told it was normal. There are many situations out there similar to this, and we need to teach children to Speak Up and Be Safe. Childhelp has a curriculum designed to do exactly that."SPOKESMAN PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Despite making it into the Top 12 Girls on American Idol Lovely James wasnt always popular and experienced bullying first-hand. That in conjunction with seeing a little girl suffer from domestic violence inspired James to get involved with Childhelp.

James hopes to continue to spread Childhelp's message of speaking out against violence against children.

"I want to increase awareness as much as possible and education is the number one way to teach children the importance of their safety," James said. "My goal is to travel to schools, spread my message, and let Childhelp teach theirs. What a better school to start with then the school I graduated from, Oregon Connections Academy."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported Lovey James name.

Contact Wilsonville Spokesman reporter Claire Green at 503-636-1281 ext. 113 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..