‘Pinwheels For Prevention’

Child Abuse Awareness Continues With Event In Mayville

The Court Appointed Special Advocated, or CASA, who work with neglected children through family court, will continue its child abuse prevention awareness campaign on Monday. CASA began its campaign on April 4 at the annual “Pinwheels for Prevention” event in Mayville. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

MAYVILLE – Children, family court judges, county officials and local youth agencies began by placing blue and white pinwheels in the spring ground to help raise awareness on child abuse in Chautauqua County.

Weeks later, the movement continues.

In association with Court Appointed Special Advocates, the annual “Pinwheels For Prevention” event was held on April 4 in front of the Chautauqua Municipal Building in Mayville to raise awareness on child abuse in Chautauqua County.

The awareness campaign for the month of April, which County Executive George Borrello officially made the month of child abuse awareness, continues on Monday with an organized march from the Northwest Arena to AIDS Memorial Park at noon in Jamestown.

An additional event will be held at the city hall in Dunkirk on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

In 2017 and 2018, the county had 3,150 reports of abuse and maltreatment of children each year.

Leanna Luka-Conley, deputy commissioner of adult, child and family services, said the reports increase by around 350 incidents every year.

CASA has volunteers that work with abused and neglected children that are appointed by family court.

“People think in a rural community like Chautauqua County that these things don’t happen or they don’t happen as much, but the reality is child abuse and neglect is a real issue here in our county,” Borrello said.

At the Mayville event, children from a Mayville-based child care center participated in planting pinwheels at the Chautauqua Municipal Building.

The pinwheels are meant to represent a happy memory or a child that’s being cared for in an overall attempt to raise awareness on the issue.

Having children essentially plant a pinwheel to support other children their age warmed the heart of Kathy Park, CASA executive director.

The campaign was created by CASA in 2009.

Park said anyone who wants to report an act of child abuse should contact the child abuse hotline at 1-800-342-3720.

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