Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 02/12/2020 –
Share your background.
Art Salvagno: Thirty-six years in law enforcement experience both in the Federal and Municipal Government sectors. Twenty-four of those years spent with the Philadelphia Police Department and my last 14 of those years investigating Child Sexual Abuse Cases. I began my musical background in elementary school playing classic rock through high school and part of my college years.
My law enforcement and musical backgrounds came together to form Battle4Children Charities.
Have you always had a need to “Give Back?”
Art Salvagno: I would have to say yes. Growing up I always involved myself in raising money for people in need. My first major fundraiser occurred when in high school for a local individual who had cancer and needed funds to pay their medical and other bills. I was also President of the Community Service Corp in my high school. There we would go out to neighborhoods and schools needing help with literacy or clean-up projects
How has your love for music inspired others?
Art Salvagno: I found that it draws people to not only listen to some of the upbeat songs or ballads I write and play, but it leads them to listen to the extended message about my ministry which is our battle against child sexual abuse and human trafficking. People have been drawn to my music whenever I am performing at local Coffee houses or putting on our Annual Battle of the Christian Bands, which on Feb 29th, will be our 9th Annual. There we will see many returnees who not only love the music and the message it brings but also for what this event is all about. Raising Awareness and Funds for organizations providing trauma-specific therapy to victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking.
You have spent most of your life in law enforcement. How did this lead to your advocacy for children?
Art Salvagno: My last 14 years with the Philadelphia Police Department was spent with their Special Victims Unit investigating the very exact cases on child sexual abuse. We worked closely with organizations such as Children & Youth, Human Services and The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance in bringing closure through prosecution and therapy. Sometimes therapy was delayed due to the overwhelming caseload and lack of therapy space. Donations raised through our Battle4Children Charities Foundation, as well as donations provided through other child advocacy, helped close that gap over the past 9 years. Now, Battle4Children concentrates on the educational / awareness factor by continuing to through fundraisers and traveling not only to the tri-state area of PA. NJ. DE but also down south, midwest, and Canada, presently playing solo performances at area local Christian Coffeehouses, churches, and other venues.
When did you start the non-profit Battle4Children?
Art Salvagno: The idea struck in 2010 after learning about the need to help expedite therapy and provide closure. Our first Battle of the Christian Bands occurred on April 1, 2011 hosted by a local historic mansion catered by the owner, and approximately 60 attendees, raising close to $1000 for a local advocacy. Eight years later the battle has grown to attract more than 250 people and raising over $2400 annually. Although $2400 doesn’t seem a lot, it helps with providing literature and many other needs in helping advocacy provide education, awareness for the victim and non-victim families.
Battle4Children Charities officially became a 501c3 nonprofit in 2015.
What are some of the misconceptions about human-trafficking? How can people be more aware?
Art Salvagno: It’s not going to happen to me or my family, or in my neighborhood or city are what we hear often. Until they hear about a case on their local news channel it doesn’t register in their minds. People need to be vigilant, read the newspapers, go on their local state website to see where registered pedophiles are living in their neighborhood.
What does Batte4Children do to help others? How can we get involved?
Art Salvagno: Battle4Children helps educate and provide awareness, while also raising funds for advocacy and hospitals providing trauma-specific therapy.
We are always looking for volunteers to work from home using their computers emailing their local businesses for monetary support, sponsorship, etc. You can also go to Battle4Children.org and donate there. Donations also help with us traveling outside our tri-state area since it does become a costly but necessary mission.
Tell us about your upcoming fundraisers. For those who are not nearby, how can we donate?
Art Salvagno: On Feb 29th, 2020 Bensalem United Methodist Church will be hosting our 9th Annual Battle of the Christian Bands. It’s an American Idol-like event where we bring in 4 celebrity judges to vote on which band is going to receive the prize of 13 recording studio hours provided by Diane Zaiko owner of Junction Music Studios. Diane was instrumental with catapulting the career of Boyz II Men and many other famous entertainers. Diane is also one of our 4 judges. The others include Host with the Most Don Heckler, who manages Karen’s Place, one of the most popular Christian Coffeehouses in the area, also Vanilla Fudge lead guitarist, and Navy Veteran, Vince Martel, as well as Musical Artist, Peg Pear, of Love-In: A Musical Celebration with Ben Vereen.
Our January Clean Comedy Night was rescheduled for March 28th due to the weather. Karen’s Place and Don Heckler host this event and pack the house every year. My trio “2 or MorE” open with a short musical set, followed by 2 very funny comedians. This event, as well as our Battle Event are both admission free. Monies are raised through love offerings, auctions and 50-50.
For those who can’t attend and want to donate we ask for you to go to Battle4Children.org and click on any of the buttons asking to donate.
Checks are also welcome and can be written out to Battle4Children Charities, addressed to Battle4Children 6907 Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19149.
All donations are tax-deductible.
What are your goals in 2020?
Art Salvagno: We usually raise close to $4,000 annually. In 2020 we hope to double maybe triple that and again and again each and every year that follows. With the increase of funding, we will be able to widen our reach to provide awareness and help fund advocacy nationwide.
Facebook: Battle4Children Charities
Instagram: Art Salvagno