(LOGAN, UT)—Throughout the month of April, the Child & Family Support Center (CFSC) of Cache County, Inc. will join forces with communities across the nation to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month. On Friday, April 1, 2011, the CFSC will kick off its annual month-long campaign on the steps of the Cache County Courthouse (located at 199 N Main in Logan) with a “Steppin’ Up for Children” display and presentation designed to raise local awareness about the prevalence of child abuse in Cache County. With hundreds of children’s shoes arranged on the Courthouse steps, the event will provide a vivid representation of the 192 substantiated cases of child abuse in Cache County during the past year. In addition, a “garden” of 538 pinwheels will be displayed on the courthouse lawn, each pinwheel representing 10 children served by the CFSC over the past year.Community leaders, media representatives and members of the public are encouraged to view the display throughout the morning and early afternoon. The Child & Family Support Center’s formal presentation will take place from 12:00 noon to 12:30 p.m. “In preparation for this event,” said Esterlee A. Molyneux, the CFSC’s executive director, “we have made presentations to city governments throughout Cache Valley, and every one of them has pledged their support for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It’s so empowering to know that we truly have a community effort working for this cause, but there’s still so much more to do. As people look at all these pairs of little shoes on April 1, I just want them to know that child abuse does happen here…but there are steps we can take to prevent it.”During the “Steppin’ Up for Children” event on April 1, Cache County Attorney James Swink, who serves on the CFSC Board of Directors, will share his perspective on the dangers of child pornography in Cache County. Molyneux will address how strengthening families builds stronger communities. She will also introduce Prevent Child Abuse Utah’s Pinwheels for Prevention campaign, a statewide campaign being launched on April 4, to emphasize the importance of child abuse prevention. Community members will subsequently be invited to take pinwheels home to “plant gardens” on their own lawns. Following Molyneux’s remarks, all local police chiefs, the Cache County and Rich County Sheriffs and government representatives will be invited to participate in a special ribbon cutting ceremony to signify the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month. “We consider their involvement to be a highlight of this event,” explained Molyneux, “because it illustrates the unity we have among government leaders and law enforcement officers in our community as we work together to strengthen families and protect children in Cache Valley. This is a great way to kick-off our annual Blue Ribbon Campaign.”Started by a Virginia grandmother, Bonnie Finney, in 1989, the Blue Ribbon Campaign began as a tribute to Finney’s grandson, who died as a result of child abuse. Tying a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car, Finney hoped not only to remember him, but also to raise awareness within her community about the tragic circumstances that led to the young boy’s death. As Finney’s story was shared across the country, including within Cache County, the Blue Ribbon Campaign became a national hallmark and local tradition, providing a tangible reminder to the public that each member of society can make a difference in the life of a child. Along with its month-long Blue Ribbon Campaign, the Child & Family Support Center hosts an annual Blue Ribbon Benefit Dinner and Auction. With the “Wild, Wild West” as its theme, this year’s banquet will take place on April 15, at the Copper Mill restaurant in Logan. A host of additional events are on tap throughout the month, including a princess party on April 16, involvement in Baby Animals Days at the American West Heritage Center (April 7-9) and an Epic Shred and BBQ on April 23, at the Logan Sam’s Club. One of the CFSC’s most anticipated annual events is a ‘Race Against Child Abuse,’ taking place on April 30, in Wellsville. For more information about “Steppin’ Up for Children” and the Child & Family Support Center’s additional National Child Abuse Prevention Month activities, please contact Esterlee Molyneux at (435) 752-8880 or visit www.CacheCFSC.org.
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