Child Abuse Awareness Day planned

Erin Smith Staff writer

April 24, 2014

ELIZABETHTOWN — As part of the effort to bring awareness of and prevention of child abuse, there will be a Child Abuse Awareness Day on Saturday.

According to Child Protective Services Supervisor Jill Sampson, the event will kick off with a walk which will start at San Jose Restaurant in Elizabethtown at 1 p.m. and end at the Bladen County Courthouse.

“We are encouraging those who participate to wear blue,” said Sampson.

She said the color blue is the color chosen to represent child abuse awareness.

Once the walkers arrive at the courthouse, the rest of the event will get under way. Sampson said there will be bounce houses, food and beverages, goodie bags for children and parents, and educational information for parents.

There will also be live entertainment featuring gospel and contemporary music — and a rapper is scheduled to make appearance.

As an added bonus, the winners of this year’s Child Abuse Awareness poster contest and poetry contest will be announced. Sampson said the winning poster design will be featured on this year’s shirt. The shirts will cost $14 each.

The poster contest winners are: first place — Caroline Smith of Clarkton School of Discovery; second place — Sarah Booth of CSD; third place — Jan Alvarez of CSD; honorable mentions were Anna Moser of CSD; Lauren Pait of Bladenboro Primary School; Lainey Hughes of Bladen Lakes School; Ayanna Avery of CSD; and Patience Ward of Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy.

The poetry contest winners were: first place — Valli Dixon of Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy; and honorable mentions were Sarah Allen of CSD and Jessica Lamb of Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy.

“This event is to honor children who have lost their lives to child abuse and to educate everyone about abuse and neglect of children,” said Sampson.

There will also be a balloon release, during which the names of each child who died will be read out loud along with a description of what happened to that child.

“It is a very emotional, very quiet moment,” said Sampson of the balloon release.