By Audrey Esther, News9.com INsite Team
Oklahoma native Rex Linn is best known as Frank Tripp, the no-nonsense detective on CSI: Miami, but now he's using his fame to raise awareness about one of Oklahoma's most sobering statistics.
"Oklahoma is one of the greatest states in the union," the actor said. "This is a great place to be from. It's a great place to live, but to know that there are more child abuse deaths in this state then there are anywhere in the nation, that's shocking to me."
So Linn decided to help and teamed up with Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma. He hopes to raise awareness by donating a once-in-a lifetime prize for the organization's annual fundraiser.
"I'm going to donate a trip to Los Angeles, a CSI: Miami set visit and lunch with the cast, and then, maybe later that night we'll go to dinner at maybe one of the famous Hollywood restaurants," Linn said of his donated auction item.
According to Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma, more than 13,000 confirmed cases of child abuse happen in Oklahoma every year. Most victims are younger than 2-years-old.
"All of those stats are unacceptable," he said. "I know people get bored with statistics, but those are pretty important stats in this state and I want to do everything I can to campaign against it."
Linn's donation along with various other auction items will be a big boost financially for the non-profit.
"This is our biggest fundraiser," said Micah Stirling executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma. "It's very important because it's difficult to raise funds."
Although prevention is the key, Stirling said, it's a difficult task.
"If you can get in and work with a family that has the risk factors for child abuse, that means kids don't have to get hurt," she said. "You're saving money you're saving kids; it's a good deal all around."
The annual Melody Lane Fundraiser will take place Saturday Sept. 20 at the Quail Creek Golf and Country Club. For more information call (405) 232-2500.