Dominick Calhoun billboard put up near Flint - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Dominick Calhoun billboard put up near Flint

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(08/02/12) - Tragedy turned into triumph. A grassroots community group is hoping this new billboard will save children's lives.

Dominick Calhoun died in April 2010 in Argentine Township after being badly beaten by his mother's boyfriend.

Since then, a new law has been signed that means stiffer penalties for child abusers.

The group raised money to put up a billboard along I-75 in Mt. Morris Township. Roughly 200,000 eyes will see this billboard every week.

Their goal is to try and make sure no child suffers like Dominick did.

"My grandson's picture is on that board and he endured a lot of pain and suffering in order to help a bunch of other children hopefully in the future," said Rick Calhoun, Dominick's grandfather.

The story of Dominick Calhoun rocked the community. He died at the hands of his mother's boyfriend more than two years ago.

Today, the grassroots group Dominick's Warriors is working to put a stop to child abuse.

"We're trying so hard to let people know there's a new law and we're not going to take it anymore," said Jim Ungerleider, a member of the group.

The new state law means stiffer penalties for abusers.

The biggest change: A first degree child abuse conviction is no longer a 15 year penalty, but a life sentence. There are also tougher penalties for anyone who commits abuse in front of children.

Brandon Hayes is serving a life sentence for torturing Dominick, and his mother, Corrine Baker, is serving prison time for not doing enough to protect the little boy.

Thursday, the community joined hands underneath the billboard for a moment of silence and to remember why they're here.

"We're saying they can't ignore it any more, that's our future we can't let our future go down the tubes because someone has a drug problem or anger issue," Ungerleider said.

The group is working to put up another billboard somewhere in Flint, and they'll be holding several fundraisers to help raise money.

Dominick's Warriors is holding a yard sale Aug. 4 and 5 at 5138 Grand Blanc in Swartz Creek starting at 9 a.m. They are also holding a fishing tournament Aug. 26 at Navistarz Bar and Grill at 9 a.m.

For more information head to their website, www.dominickswarriors.com.

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