Jan’s Circle of Friends making a difference

By on May 7, 2014
Susan Van Zant discusses Jan's Circle of Friends initiative at Reinholds Restorations which is a sponsor of a May 31 fundraiser at Denver Memorial Park and Playground. Van Zant launched the foundation in the name of her sister, Jan Roseboro, who was murdered by her husband in July 2008.

Susan Van Zant discusses Jan’s Circle of Friends initiative at Reinholds Restorations which is a sponsor of a May 31 fundraiser at Denver Memorial Park and Playground. Van Zant launched the foundation in the name of her sister, Jan Roseboro, who was murdered by her husband in July 2008.

People prefer not to face the unpleasant realilty that people are sometimes harmful to others.

But that’s a reality that cannot be ignored says Susan Van Zant, founder of Jan’s Circle of Friends, which will hold a community event and fundraiser at Denver Memorial Park and Playground on May 31.

Her organization, launched in the name of her sister Jan Roseboro, seizes the opportunity and accepts the grinding task of creating awareness that bad things actually do happen.

“Anytime you bring up violence of any sort, people want to brush it under the carpet and say that doesn’t happen here,” Van Zant, said Jan Roseboro was murdered by her husband, Denver funeral director Michael A. Roseboro, in July 2008.

Personifying the organization’s creed to assist children affected by domestic violence and parental loss, Van Zant has cared for three of her sister’s four children (the eldest son is an adult).

“I would be remiss if I didn’t try to do something for other children who have lost parents who have been the victims of domestic violence,” she said.

While Jan’s Circle of Friends has successfully raised funds used to fund outreach and education that teaches children about domestic violence and healthy relationships, the event at Denver Memorial Park is more about getting people’s attention.

“More and more people are realizing what a problem this is for children today,” Van Zant said.

As a former school teacher, Van Zant was aware of resources available for her nephews and nieces. At the same time she realized the number of grandparents, aunts and uncles who were forced to become her students’ guardians.

“These guardians often had no idea how to deal with these children. (Jan’s Circle of Friends ) is able to help them,” she said. Van Zant said typical conversation about domestic violence revolves around women, then secondarily about men as victims, “but you never address the fact that a child is a victim of domestic violence.”

“We also don’t want to minimize the fact that children lose parents too and my children that I’m raising, Jan’s children, are victims of both and therefore dealing with both these issues,” Van Zant said.

• There is no admission charge to enter park grounds May 31 for the event at Denver Memorial Park and Playground. There will be a motorcycle and car show where participants can register online for at www.classicawareness.com All proceeds will benefit Jan’s Circle of Friends www.janscircleoffriends.org. The event includes a road rally (participate fee), vendors, entertainment, free concert, kids zone, with an auction, raffles, and Harley-Davidson Jumpstart. Food and beverages are available for purchase including breakfast starting at 8 a.m. For more information go to www.classicawareness.com or contact Don Delp at 717-336-7050

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