FMS Cadets Attend Community Awareness Event

Article Published by the News Virginian
Bob Stuart

By late afternoon Friday, the blustery winds at Waynesboro’s Constitution Park were softened by the presence of a pinwheel garden.

Dozens of children converged on the park to plant a garden of pinwheels and promote awareness of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Elizabeth Smith, home, life and health chairwoman of the Waynesboro Woman’s Club, said the club raised funds for the pinwheels to support prevention.

“The pinwheel is a national symbol,” Smith said. “It reflects hope, health and safety.”

Advocates for children such as the Valley Children’s Center attended the garden planting.

Amy Thorton, executive director of the center, said events like Friday’s are necessary.

“We need awareness,” said Thorton, whose agency assists with forensic interviews in child abuse and neglect cases.

According to the Virginia Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention, 6,234 children were found to be victims of child abuse or neglect and more than 34,000 children were involved in potential abuse reports between June 2009 and June 2010.