Mt. Vernon Register-News

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March 12, 2013

Walk to call attention to child abuse scheduled

MT. VERNON — — Four local groups have joined forces to call attention to child abuse during Child Abuse Prevention Month.

A public walk has been scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. April 4 at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Co-sponsors of the event are The Amy Center, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Christian Social Services and Lutheran Child and Family Services.

"There is no fundraising for this event, this is to raise awareness," said The Amy Center Executive Director Ladonna Richards. "We're asking people to wear blue, which is the color of child abuse. Any shade of blue is okay."

Richards said last year's event, held on a Saturday, drew about 50 walkers in a downpour of rain.

"We decided to walk during our lunch break this year. Anyone can join us. They can walk one lap or as many as they want," Richards said, adding, "Or if they can't walk and just want to set up a lawn chair and sit on the courthouse lawn that is acceptable; just anything to show support for and raise awareness of child abuse. We even had a few people come by last year and honk their horns as we were walking."

Richards said in addition to the walk, the blue kids will be around town on that date and the mayor will be signing a proclamation for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Amy Center is part of a committee that will again be sponsoring a downstate conference for individuals and groups that deal with child abuse on a regular basis.

The Downstate Conference will be held on March 24 and 25 at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon.

"This is the 21st year that we've done downstate training for people who have worked with children of child abuse," Richards said. "People wanting information about the conference can go to our web site downstateconference.com for more information or to register."

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