Only $7,000 raised for caged boys

Wed, August 25, 2004

THE WOMAN behind a tireless fundraising effort to help two Blackstock boys whose parents locked them in cages is so frustrated with the results she wishes she never started the campaign. Terri Fallis is disappointed she has only been able to raise $7,000 for the two boys. Fallis, intent on showing the boys that the public cares, started her campaign in 2001 and hoped to raise enough for their post-secondary education.

"I feel like the lacklustre success of this fundraiser is only going to make the boys feel, even more than ever, that no one really cares," Fallis said.

"It is difficult for me to accept, but it probably would have been better for the boys if I hadn't started this fundraiser at all. Maybe I have raised their hopes for nothing."

The boys' parents -- who adopted the boys at ages 3 and 5 in 1988 and routinely beat them, forced them to wear diapers into their teens and sleep in dog cages -- received nine-month jail sentences in July.

The attorney-general's office is appealing the sentence, calling it "clearly unreasonable and demonstrably unfit."

The parents pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and failure to provide the necessities of life.

The couple subjected them to 13 years of abuse.

"We have been trying to focus on the trust fund to provide them with the means to fulfill some of their larger dreams," Fallis said.

The trust fund is at the CIBC, account No. 1547933, transit No. 03442.