Butterfly release hosted by Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center draws large crowd
The Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center hosted its annual Butterfly Release on Tuesday, April 16, in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month and the growing issue of child abuse.
The event had been rescheduled from Wednesday, April 17, due to forecasts of rain. Center Mayor David Chadwick served as master of ceremonies.
"Our local advocacy center here does an outstanding job of making us aware of what needs to be done in our county, of being an agency that has great respect," he said. He cited the professionalism of the staff in interviewing children in abusive situations in an effort to reduce child abuse in the county.
"Sadly, this list of people is not growing shorter," Chadwick said of child abuse cases in the county. He said it seems like more and more cases are reported and the need for services of the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center grows.
"That is the sad part of it, but the good part of it is the response and ability that Shelby County has in responding to those needs," Chadwick said. He said it is important those working in the area of child abuse prevention have public support.
"We must be aware as adults, of things taking place around us," he said. "We must be responsible and notify those who will take action and then we must always be on guard to see that our children see the very best example in us."
That can result in a generation of children growing into adulthood with the same values responsible parents hold dearly, Chadwick said.
The event took place on the downtown square starting at 4 p.m. and was open to the community. The butterfly release is an opportunity for the public to contribute their time to raising awareness of child abuse, organizers said.
"You can also help the SCCAC in our efforts to prevent child abuse by educating yourself and others about child abuse," organizers said. "Together we CAN protect our children, stop abuse, and build a strong and prosperous future for our community. EVERY CHILD. EVERY SERVICE. EVERY EFFORT."
The event was sponsored by Farmers State Bank, which provided hot dogs and chips for attendees.
For photo gallery from Tuesday's event, please click below: